Dåser DAM interview

It has been a long time since we sat down and had the pleasure of talking to the Danish old school legend and abstract graffiti pioneer Avelon31. We are glad to announce that our interview series is still on.

The Kim Matthiesen interview series highlights the stories of people in the graffiti world that we find important. Not because they can make the most high-tech super glossy futuristic piece and have the most Instagram followers. But because they somehow at some point made a difference. A difference that we think and believe is important to recognize and tell the story of. This is to share the knowledge and history of writers, whether they are active or not, to the future generations. This is not a focus series on the most famous and upcoming graff writers, this is a way of telling a story and focusing on something we find important! Because it is important!

Thek Dåser Århus 1996

Dåser is a name that can not be avoided, in the context of Danish Graffiti History. Dåser is one of the only writers in Denmark, that actually uses one of the Danish unique letters in his name, Å. If you are from what could be called the second generation of graffiti writers growing up in Jutland, Denmark during the 90’s the name Dåser is something you know for sure. It was a name that was everywhere, some of the old pieces from that time can still be seen out there somewhere in Denmark and even in Basel along the tracksides under tunnels and bridges. Dåser stood for good quality pieces by the tracks and on the trains.

Then all of a sudden in 2012 he was back! The name Dåser popped up on the internet in the form of a blog showing only Dåser pieces. A lot of them! Never before seen photos. What did this mean? A comeback? Then it stopped with a small statement. That could mean everything.

Dåser on tumblrDam crew

In 2013 I accidentally met the man behind the name Dåser. He told me not to expect a comeback, he just felt like showing his work from back then. That inspired the idea for this interview, to hear the story from himself in his own words.

It is with great pleasure I present to you the interview with Dåser One from the Dam Crew.

ARL: When did you start painting and why?

I started painting in the eighties, and was quite active from 1994 until 2000. I lived in Århus and later in Odense at the time. Painting bridges along the railway tracks was my great passion.

Dåser Århus 1997Sone Dåser 1996

ARL: For many years you where out of the picture and not visible at all, and then all of a sudden you came back? Why? What triggered your comeback?

There is no comeback! I am no longer a writer. The last few years I have done a couple of pieces, just having fun.

Dåser Aalborg 2015

ARL: In your real active period of the Dam crew You, Thek, and Swet was All over! Especially Jutland, Århus? Tell us about the crew?

Swet and I shared a apartment in downtown Århus. There where many writers visiting, lot of roller paint, quick cans in the freezer and Faxe kondi. Thek was a regular guest and it was only naturally that he joined the crew. Your main goal was color pieces at the Jutland tracksides. Occasionally we would hit a train. During the winter we did silvers and destroyed noise fences with scrap cans.
This Interview is much longer. Click here to read.

Avelon31 TDR TKF Interview

In the graff world there is still persons who are not visible on the internet or instagram, who doesn’t give a fuck about how many likes they have on their personally writer name associated profiles. Never the less some of these individuals are making a difference, and continue non stop painting, writing. This is the first in many focus series to come, focussing on writers who have done or are making a difference, in their approach to this thing called graffiti. Maybe they don’t do big lavish color fillins maybe they have never done a single train. But they have done something else. They have continued what they like to do, the way they want to do it. In a often really rule bound conservative culture as the graff culture, we want to focus on the people who break the rules inside the culture or just deserves the focus because they are not visible if you don’t know where to look.

In the first issue of this series meet old-school Danish writer Avelon31 TDR, The Killing Fields for a Q & A session.

ARL: Can you give us a introduction about yourself for all the many persons who have no idea who you are?

Avelon31: Introducing a smelly old fart with all the bollocks that come with the office.
I started back in autumn of 1984 at the age of eleven. People of that and the generations to come, will agree that those were very different times compared to “the scene” and world of today. The history of Copenhagen graffiti is very much also a greater view on world politics and the development of the electrical media and the rise of the internet.
“The cold war” – a phrase known to most people from history class only, ended by and large on a November night in Berlin in ´89 when I was at the tender age of 16. There was still the Soviet Union, there was Reagan ( and Nancy ) and the Iron Lady. Not to mention AIDS and very bad hair. Culture was embedded in punk and the thoughtful leftovers from the worries of nuclear extinction. Looking back at the signs of the time, via magazines and paperphotos, most of the gestures seem naive, not at all cool or superficial, but personal and scared. The shape of the bomb configurated the mindset for that generation : “The Red scare” – not completely unlike the “War on terror” of today.

I am an only child from a middle-class home a bit north of Copenhagen and my parents are still not divorced. The chubby kid in school who was never into sports but wanted to be a porn photographer from the age of 8 : leaving the idea of wanting to be a fireman, a soldier or a ninja behind, the summer of ´84 provided new horizons.
Images in magazines showed something I had never seen before, big colorful wall paintings presented as the visual backing to the latest fad – a thing called Break Dance and Electric Boogie.

They had me at “Hello”.
31 years later and a hiatus from 2001 until 2007, concentrating on fine art, painting with spray still hold a position in my life. As much as I don’t even consider myself neither a writer or graffiti. – walls have been the main focus, I have never done a train.

I have been involved with a lot of people over the years and a part of more than a few crews. Currently the crew of which I became a member during early summer of ´93, “The Dark Roses”, seem well revitalized and I guess the oldest and still running crew in Denmark. On the side of that crew, “Killing Fields” still operate as well but not to the same extend.

ARL: For many years you where out of the picture and not visible at all, and then all of a sudden you came back with a blast? Why? What triggered your comeback?

Avelon31: “Don’t call this a comeback”

I was lured into collaborating on a wall in the late fall of 2007 which proved anything but a success, 4 months later the same thing happened again but for tragic reasons. Later that year it happened again without the tragic lead, and going now and then had become a bit like a picnic, loads of beer with old pupils and other assholes my age. Comfy and fuss-free for a while. Late 2010 I picked up the gear and went for my self for the first time in ages and once again it started proving a problem that had to be dealt with.

ARL: Since the start you have had a very open mindset on how to be a part of this graffiti game. You have for almost 30 years painted abstract, on the walls? Where does that come from? “Is it a fuck you” to the whole conservative mindset of graff? Or what have been your motivation to go in that direction? Tell us about your concept:

Avelon31: “Counter-” within a subculture

 Before most individuals establish a vocation of their own, one tends to cover what one sees. But at one point, early, the classical points of reference proved not to be enough. A few people will always stand out as influential whereas the rest more or less will follow and not stand out in their lack of originality. The Copenhagen scene in the late 80és was a very conservative one and since I was beginning to feel like me, it was beginning to show through the gestures I made. Limiting myself to just imitating or even impersonating others, lacked the integrity I felt needed in the word “expression”. I grew completely out of hip hop in ´88 and could therefore not relate to the a lot of the uni- and conformity at the time and I guess it showed. I went for myself.

I produced my first abstract wall in late ´87, but it was only later ( ´90) that I decided that letters need not be a part of the menu at all and have been going back and forth on this ever since.

Avelon31: “Style”

“Practice” and “Choice” seem more deliberate words than “style” to me. Painting is to me an important existential gesture which places me neatly away from a romantic use of a term which nobody have felt the need to re-examine since Charlfant and Cooper contributed the blue prints back in ´82. The reason most of my stuff bears the resemblance it does, is that I was always drunk or/and high while painting. At one point it just stayed that way, but usually I still get pissed while working.

Finish reading the interview here!

Spray Trip Kolding anmeldelse

Spray Trip Kolding er en bog der fortæller historien om en del af den landsomspændende graffiti scene i Danmark. Mange tænker fejlagtigt kun på København når de høre ordet graffiti, men andre byer i Danmark har gjort sig yderst bemærket på det danske landskort. En af disse byer er Kolding, en Jysk provins by, der siden 80’erne til Idag har formået at tiltrække folk fra hele graffitiscenen og fra hele landet.

Kolding har en af de ældste Hall of fames i Danmark der blev indviet i 1989. Siden da har tunnelen fået mange mange tusind lag, af malere fra nær og fjern, og ikke mindst af de meget talentfulde skrivere som Kolding’s graffitiscene udklækkede!

Jeg husker de utallige gange jeg som pur-ung skriver kom til Kolding for at male, men blot måtte konstatere at der intet var jeg kunne male over. Alt der var der i forvejen var simpelthen af så høj kvalitet, at der ikke var noget at gøre! Men turen var ikke spildt, tværtimod tog man væk med ny inspiration og mere lyst til blive endnu bedre, så man måske en dag kunne male i tunnelen.

Spray trip Kolding er en af de bedste og mest grundige graffiti bøger der er lavet i Danmark. Den fortæller et vigtigt kapitel i Dansk graffiti historie, der slet ikke er skrevet færdigt endnu. Bogen dækker historien i Kolding, som du ikke må gå glip af hvis du mener du er en del af graffitiscenen eller interessere dig for graffiti!
Snyd ikke dig selv for dette fantastiske historiske dokument, der er lavet af initiativtagerne Rune Lorentsen og Lars Skouboe i samarbejde med Kolding Stadsarkiv og Kolding Kommune.

Der er sket rigtig meget i Danmark uden for København og man kunne håbe på at dette initiativ med at fortælle Koldings historie, kunne inspirere andre til at komme ud af busken og fortælle deres vigtige historier.

Kolding kommune og Kolding bys graffiti politik burde være et forbillede for alle andre byer i Danmark og Verden, der er ingen der når dem til sokkeholderne!

KØB SPRAY TRIP KOLDING! And learn your History!