Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Profile: Last Plak

From a young age, the members of Dutch collective Last Plak displayed their work on the street. Back in the day, many members wrote in chalk on the streets. As they grew up, they graduated to markers and drove their parents crazy by writing on the walls. Ten years ago, Last Plak came together as a collective and the group has added members ever since. "In Dutch, 'last' means 'annoying' and 'plak' means 'sticker,'" they explain, "so Last Plak can translate to 'annoying sticker'."
Armed with more than just sticky creations, they've bombed the streets of Berlin, Saint Petersburg, Los Angeles, New York City, and their native Rotterdam. While they make a yearly pilgrimage to Berlin, they agree that Rotterdam is still their favorite place to work.
Over the years, the group experimented with different styles. "We started out with graffiti letters," they recall. "Then we moved on to characters based on graffiti shapes." The group loves spreading their work across city blocks. According to Last Plak, "Street art just seems a bit more gentle than graffiti." It's hard to deny the accessibility of their work. From heartbroken penguins to teeth with legs and a smiling cyclops, their characters wave a friendly hello to pedestrians.
This fearless collective experienced their fair share of run-ins with the police, but they never let it cramp their style. In fact, they'll work on pretty much anything: ice sculptures, dining room chairs, shoes, and even a church (with permission, of course). Regardless of the location, they say, "We just like to see our work in public spaces. When we see one of our characters in the street, we always say hello."
Currently, the members of Last Plak have a fresh studio space and hope to open a gallery in Rotterdam. At some point, they'd like to paint whole buildings with their colorful characters. Finding inspiration everywhere, they explain, "We try to keep it up to date with the media and the news. We try to put our opinion in the work." Collaborating with the group means no rules, plenty of respect, and endless possibilities. "You never know how it will develop," they insist, "but you know for sure it will get better the longer you work on it."
Thanks, Last Plak! Best of luck with the new gallery. To keep abreast of the Last Plak news, visit their website. Not much weekending will happen this week, but I'll be sure to round up a good batch of headlines for Monday (like the hyper-linked Banksy film site).

1 comment:

  1. nice works!! (are u?)