Street Art Frankey (pseudonym of Frank de Ruwe) is a Dutch artist who wants to positively influence the street scene with relatively small and often inconspicuous works of art.
‘I strive to make work that is not ordinary’.
Under the pseudonym ‘Frankey’ Frank de Ruwe, founder of Natwerk, has been making street art for years. And that doesn’t go unnoticed: his work is exhibited every Saturday in the dutch newspaper "Het Parool", in the New York art gallery Wallplay and he now has his own ‘street museum’ in Amsterdam. Commercial commissions or guerrilla art, De Ruwe’s approach does not differ: ‘I strive to make work that is not ordinary’.
Looking differently at things
"In street art it has to be small, smart things, for the observant viewer. That makes me happy too. It has to be something that interacts with the city.
I like it when I can reserve a very small place where people have a little smile. Making people feel good with an image and being able to get out of it for a while. A very short dream, that will make you happy for a while.
I like to look at objects to see how it could be different: can you turn them into something else. It can always be done in a different way. Everything you can creatively make someone smile with, I think is a cool area. It can also be done in architecture, or in the car industry. There are so many ways to make things more fun".
How it all started.
How did it all start? As a student he was already busy with street art. He started with stencil spraying, then he started working with stickers and then placing objects. When his art was picked up by the media a few years ago, it started happening fast.. De Ruwe: ‘I had placed a life-size sculpture of a man in a sauna near the Weteringscircuit (street in Amsterdam). The statue was fogging up above the then still under construction North-South metroline. The media wrote about this and I thought: this is quite fun to do, and I continued with it.
Dutch newspaper ”Het Parool’ now displays one of my works of art every week, I’m very happy with that. The editors sent me a reaction from a grandmother the other day. She wrote that she and her grandson cycle to one of my objects every week. I think that’s super cool.
" Personally, I always think everything is possible. " Frankey always seems to be ‘on’ in his way of thinking. "I used to think that everybody did. As a boy I was always drawing, in my notebook. I already had a lot of fun creating back then. When it comes to manual work or drawing, I thought, wow what if you could make a career out of this."
"The biggest opponent is time. The artist is short of time. It’s always a problem. I always think I can handle a lot more things. The creative work goes on and on. I find myself drilling and welding in the middle of the night again."
Fans stealing his work
One in three of his works of art is being stolen. "My art is, of course, in public space, for which you quite often do not have permission. Things are taken away, sometimes by collectors. While the environment is quite important for what I place. Still, I think it’s funny though."
Undercover wearing an orange vest and a helmet, he places objects in Amsterdam. The people passing by think I work for the city,’ he says with a smile. Yes, what I’m doing is actually illegal. But I try to strap everything in such a way that it doesn’t damage anything. I also put things in public places. When it comes to someone’s house, I always ask permission first’.
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