From January 24, SBK Breda will present the work of PHET 15. His solo exhibition includes paintings, video, photography, graphics and a mural.
Pioneer “25 years ago, between Sinterklaas and Christmas in 1983, I put my first piece. After a summer of testing and drawing with Freddy (rip) and Alan, all the aisles in my neighborhood were whitewashed as if it should have been. The perfect opportunity to go 'big' for once and the rest is, as they say so beautifully, history." With its own hands, PHET - at the time operating under the name FREAKY - ensured that Eindhoven was put on the international map as a hip-hop and graffiti stronghold. In the book Spraycan Art (1987), the American photographer Henry Chalfant, maker of the first hip-hop documentary Style Wars (1983), devotes a chapter to the city of Eindhoven, in which FREAKY is portrayed, with a sketch in his hands. PHET is also one of the first European graffiti writers to travel to New York in the mid-1980s. He meets greats like Dondi, Phase2, Seen and Lee here. They emphasize the importance of developing your own style, handwriting. A fixed value within the original hip-hop culture: innovation. Innovator He continues the innovation within his graffiti oeuvre. PHET is inspired by different visual culture outside the existing graffiti aesthetic. Mondriaan's work is an important factor, for example. PHET is one of the first to make Wildstyle works with only straight lines. Later, the letters are further developed in such a way that they manifest themselves as independent forms. Super-sleek lines alternate with dots. Unexpected, idiosyncratic color combinations, where depth, foreground and background are constantly redefined. A great strength in the work is the recognisability, in its simplicity the signature is clearly present. PHET completed his education at the art academy in Tilburg in 1998. At the end of the 1990s, Eindhoven is at the forefront of the emergence of alternative street expressions: traditional graffiti is receding somewhat into the background. New imaginations, symbols and materials are being discovered and every material is legitimate. There is wallpapering, stickering, and latexing. PHET comes with figurative images, almost icons, which can just as easily come from folk art as from hip-hop culture. Eastern and Western influences blend effortlessly and images of totem poles and Nike Air Max coexist without any problem. In collaboration with artist collective BETAMAXXX, sawn silhouette-shaped MDF panels are screwed to fences and glued to doors. However, PHET doesn't just experiment on the street. In his own unmistakable 'Clear Line' way of working, he explores the possibilities of graphic software, publications, early social media such as Fotolog and vinyl or textiles. His interventions in public space have become increasingly site-specific. An image of the Eindhoven rapper Kempi is stuck behind the bars of a window in the city center (see image 'Free Kempi' 2011). Kempi is jailed again not long after for assaulting his girlfriend. At the invitation of colleague EROSION, PHET will visit Japan in 2012. To do an Artist in Residence project in Osaka. And just like New York in the 1980s, Japan makes an “indelible impression”. Enough nutrition to last for years. Michiel van der Zanden, 2013