The international exhibition “URBAN ART EFX Amsterdam” touches down this month in Amsterdam, Holland, presented by Urban Stylistix. Fifteen artists from the Netherlands, across Europe, Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong are taking part, including Ata “Toast” Bozaci (Switzerland), Binho (Brazil), Bonzai (United Kingdom), Hendrik “ECB” Beykirch (Germany), Mr. Wany (Italy) and Besok (Netherlands). To celebrate Urban Art EFX we catch up with Daniel Doebner, aka Besok, for a quick interview. Besok has been previously featured on Global Street Art for a painting he did in Amsterdam, although we didn’t know it was him at the time!
Check this amazing Besok slideshow…
I was born in Germany in 1974 but I’ve lived in Amsterdam since 2005. I started doing illustrations at an early age but I started painting walls in 1990. From 2001 to 2005 I studied children’s book illustration at the University for Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany. As a teenager I was skateboarding every day. I met some guys who introduced me to street art and the history of graffiti. Subway Art became my bible! I still get goosebumps when I read it!
I’ve chose the name Besok when I was 17 - I really liked the harmony between the letter shapes. Nowadays I don’t like the name very much anymore so I play with new combinations like Kobes, Keobs, Skebo, etc. (it keeps it funky)!
I find it difficult to describe myself or my art as I have always been trying out new styles, techniques and searching for new challenges. Letters are not my strongest skill but sometimes I try to integrate my name somewhere into the illustration. Painting characters, landscapes and cities is more enjoyable and more of a challenge for me. I paint everything that comes into my mind!
I am a positive person. My art is not aggressive or political. Mostly I try to give my paintings a funny twist or enjoyable atmosphere. There are enough sad things happening in this crazy world. I escape into better times/places through my paintings.
I started getting in touch with galleries in 1996 and that made me move from walls to canvas but the size of a canvas is limiting. During my studies I have stepped back to paper, creating children’s book illustration. Since I have moved to the Netherlands I work as a digital Visualizer making storyboards, event and product sketches for advertising and film companies.
Even though the options in the digital world are endless I try to go back to the essence by working with real raw materials in my spare time (it’s more ‘real’). Materials like wood, metal, jute, coffee and techniques like milling, sewing, gluing are fun to play with. I even have done a layered illustration cut out of wood based on my daily Photoshop work! Mixed Media, rough structures, drips and dirty brushstrokes are very welcome when I paint on walls too.
Friends and other artists who know me always make fun of me because of my German seriousness. German graffiti artists are well known for their serious, elaborated production works. Styles, characters and backgrounds are often very clean and nicely balanced. The end result always speaks for itself although I am never 100% happy. But that’s ok!
I don’t know where art is going to take me. I will probably just continue searching for new challenges and try to live a good life, live from art and so on. Because I’m working in so many different disciplines it never gets boring. I have been lucky enough to get invited to participate in several major wall productions and amazing projects in Europe and abroad. Since 2008 I have been part of the ‘Kosmopolite Art Tour’ organization (www.kosmo-art-tour.com).
- Besok’s other site: www.danieldoebner.de
- Besok’s site: www.dd-visualizing.com
- Urban Art EFX Website: http://www.urban-art-efx.com
- Urban Art EFX Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/247766431991042