For many graffiti and street artists, a self-invented cartoonesque figure has become a trademark. KBTR and Oxalien are two glaring examples. In fact, they’re the names of both the silly figures as well as the artists themselves. The hot-tempered dwarf with his red pointed hat and the inflated bubble of pink chewing gum with horns and sharp teeth have, oftentimes together, spread across large parts of the Netherlands like a virus.
Assuming that artists that are active in public space are not easily out of fantasy, it’s striking to find, however, that many of them prefer the easy path by replicating the image of a character that has been conceptualised by someone else. But why make life difficult if you can choose from a whole range of figures and action heroes from comics, cartoons, computer games and children’s books that are well-known to a broad public and will be recognised instantly? The photo series below bears testimony to the fact that this heterogeneous mixture of characters is drawn on heavily in many different places. Some of them I’ve stumbled upon only once, whilst others such as the Simpsons, the Hulk, Donald Duck, Super Mario, Marvin the Martian, Ronald McDonald (solely ridiculed of course) and personages from Star Wars, I have bumped into on the streets repeatedly. Go ahead and discover your favourite.