15 Feb New name ‘ALL CAPS’ based on graffiti
A piece by Lee Quiñones from New York has been spray-painted in 1982 against the underside of a staircase leading to Rotterdam’s Lijnbaan Centre. The artwork consists of the letters L, E and E, together spelling the name LEE.
ROTTERDAM- Street art festival POW! WOW! Rotterdam will now go through life as ALL CAPS. With a new branding the organization stands on its own Rotterdam legs. The new name fits better with the big ambitions. The tagline of ALL CAPS is not for nothing: ‘Capital Art’.
Although the focus of the festival is on street art, it is strong that graffiti is explicitly embraced in the new name. The name ALL CAPS encompasses many meanings. It is a nod to the ‘caps’, the nozzles on the spraycans that are inextricably linked to graffiti culture, but also to the choice of letters. It stands for “capitals only,” which refers to using only capital letters. Many writers past and present have formed their tag from letters in capitals. The visibility and power of these are more than often the starting point for pieces of various sizes.
RSWC, Rotterdam subway, late 80s. Photo Dutch Graffiti Library
A nice link can also be made with another important phenomenon in graffiti culture. The combination of several capitals often makes reference to graffiti crews in which a group of writers endorse their own collective and way of acting. Some famous Rotterdam-oriented crews from the mid-80s are TDF (The Def Connection), RSWC (Rollin’ Steel Wheel Crusaders) and RCV (Rock Crime Vandalism). In addition, the name ALL CAPS is an ode to the late hip-hop icon MF DOOM, who likewise preferred to stylize his name in capitals at all times with this slogan. He even named a song after it.
Xerox copy ROCK CRIME VANDALISM, Rotterdam, late 80s and marker on paper capital letter R by ERAS, late 80s. Collection Dutch Graffiti Library
ALL CAPS is the most important street art festival in the Netherlands and once again brings national and international artists to Rotterdam from 4 to 11 September 2022. ALL CAPS is an open-air museum without an entrance fee or closing time. The focus is on the neighborhood and leaving a positive impact on the living environment. In addition, the festival is a meeting place for the creative sector and a platform for inspiration and innovation. For graffiti writers of the past, artists of the present, and young and up-and-coming talent.
Graffiti writing at Rotterdam Coolhaven late 80s. Photo Dutch Graffiti Library
September 4 to 11, 2022
For more information check here.