Amsterdam is a city full of surprises and home to many of the world’s up-coming and established artists. But as any artist knows – getting your work out there is not always easy. Thankfully there is a city out there to use as a canvas and showroom! We aren’t saying these five hidden pieces are the best. They are just the ones we found!
5. anjeliersstraat – little people hanging from the Pipes
Inspired by such pieces as ‘the sawing guy’, the city hall commissioned these little characters to spark up this alley in the Jordaan. Make what you will of them; we think they are perfect examples of unobtrusive art that, as soon as you find them, go a little towards lighting up your day.
4. Discrete alleyway – lijnbaansstraat
This is a road best found by either taking a wrong turn, or by exploring. It is a dead-end street, which is an annoying discovery if you’ve thought to take a short-cut, but which can lead you to an elegant and tiny street-art display. This work is completely unpretentious in that it is fairly well out of sight,but still manages to catch enough attention from artists that it does change and develop with each visit. Very understated and very cool, in typical Amsterdam fashion.
3. the viaduct (tunnel) in vondelpark
The little sculptures of a boy and girl, walking in the park, were constructed by sculpture Hildo Krop in 1947, when the viaduct was built. Water leaks have, over the years, ruined the originals,but they have since been restored and offer a nice unexpected surprise in what is otherwise a generally bland ‘tunnel’. Just enter the park from the city end and walk straight. When you find yourself going through a tunnel, you’ve found them.
2. space invaders!
To date, street artist Invader has left his mark in 65 cities around the world. It is one of those pleasures about wandering around a foreign city these days, to suddenly stumble across one of his mosaic tile Space Invaders, based on the popular video game of the same name. In Amsterdam there are at least 25 pieces, and probably more. Invader doesn’t shy from showing them in highly populated areas. The most ‘hidden’ one is under the northern-most bridge on Ouderzijds Voorburgwal, in the Red Light District.
1. the sawing guy in the tree down by leidseplein
This little gem is, by now, fairly well known around Amsterdam.There has been, for some time, a small movement by anonymous artists to display their work behind a veil of mystery. Like the famous bronze bust in the Red Light District,there are no definite answers as to who the artist is, although it is often assumed that he or she is responsible for both. Even when you know it is there, the little sawing dude in the tree still evokes feelings of wonder and thrill – will he ever get through that massive branch?