“An inspiration turned into
a passion. That passion
into a profession.
A profession driven by
“Why make a documentary about street painting?” I guess that is the question I am trying to answer here. I discovered, if one can call it that, street painting some twelve years ago, when friends offered to take me to the San Rafael Youth In Arts Italian Street Painting Festival while I was vacationing in California. Apparently it was an annual chalk event slash fund raiser that took place over the weekend, had been around for a few years already, offered great art, food and live music, and over the years attracted thousands of people. So my friends thought it would be cool for me to go and see for a couple of hours. Little did they know….
The festival venue covered just two streets, basically one block, which actually had been repaved a few days before with a smooth and thin top layer of asphalt, for optimal chalk conditions. Never saw such a thing. But not much of that clean, pristine asphalt was still visible by the time we arrived. Literally hundreds of street painters of all ages were working hard to make sure every inch of these streets would be covered with a great variety of colours, inch by inch, as if working on one giant quilt. What a truly amazing spectacle that was.
Mind you, this was over a decade ago. In a time before social media, before smart phones, and before digital photography. Even before 3D came into fashion. I was so impressed with what I saw, I must have been, that I almost forgot to take pictures with my analogue camera. I only took 5 or 6. I have the photo negatives to prove it. Nevertheless, the memory of that visit is still very vivid after all these years. I found the experience truly inspiring, such great craftsmanship, huge masterpieces created over the course of two, three days, with only soft pastels, and above all, not intended to last. Just something to be enjoyed in the here and now, and for as long as the event lasted.
The day after the festival the local Fire Dept. made sure the streets were clean and pristine again, as if nothing amazing at all had happened. But something had happened. I had actually fallen in love with this beautiful, quite unknown and yet strangely familiar art form, and really wanted to share this inspiration somehow with the people on my side of the world, after my return to the Netherlands. And that’s what I did, and have been doing ever since.
founder & director planet streetpainting