One of the stand out pieces of street art arising from Roskilde Festival’s Art Zone / Graffiti Camp this year is 22 year old Judith de Leeuw (JDL Street Art’s) incredible portrait of a young girl with goggles. Judith is a recent recipient of the Young Talent Award at the Dutch Street Art Awards. We sat down with her to chat about her work, her beginnings, and of course, her Roskilde experience so far.

 

Photos by Andreas Raun Arneberg

 

 

When did you start making Street Art?

I used a spray can for the first time when I was 15, but I didn’t do portraits, and it wasn’t really street art. I’ve been drawing portraits since I was 4 years old and I was doing so bad at school because I was just focusing on the drawing and nothing else. I started combining spray cans with portrait, and I think I did my first spray can portrait about 4 years ago although I didn’t really get serious about it until one or two years ago.

 

What was it like getting into the street art scene in Amsterdam?

I was living in the smallest room in the biggest ghetto in Amsterdam, with closed windows and doors. I was painting canvases and once in a while and I would get really sick from the gasses. I would throw up and sometimes just pass out completely. I thought people were lying about the gas but it’s true, I even ended up in hospital because I couldn’t breathe. So you could say that it wasn’t the smoothest process!

 

Tell us about the Amy Winehouse portrait in Amsterdam?

I painted that last year in the summer when Amy Winehouse was playing a big role in my personal life. My friends and I would talk about creativity and mental instability on a daily basis and the link that’s obviously there between the two. We thought it was crazy that people were creating smiling portraits of Amy Winehouse all the time, while that clearly wasn’t what she was like or what she was going through. I wanted to put her on the street how she was, and not how people wanted to see her.

 

JDL Street Art’s piece at Roskilde Festival 2017.

What about your piece for Roskilde Festival? What does it mean to you?

Normally I’m not into acting out within a painting, but this time there are so many ways of interpreting it that I’d rather sit and listen to the audience. I’m really curious about what people think. I painted the fly this morning and the fly could be just flying there, but maybe it is coming out of her mouth. For me, the fly represents a connection between humans and nature, and how we protect nature. It could also be some kind of big joke about her breath smelling so bad there’s fly coming out. Anyway I’d rather just ask the questions than provide answers for this one.

 

Is this your first time at Roskilde? When did you arrive, and what are you looking forward to music wise?

Yeah it’s my first time and I really love it. I can’t remember when I got here, there has been so much beer and painting, but I could sure use some rest! I’m in a room with 11 other artists and there’s no TV so you feel kind of obligated to engage with everyone. My body is done, I can’t walk anymore. But I’m looking forward to seeing Bonobo tonight. I also need to go and see Ice Cube, because if I go home and tell my friends in Amsterdam that I missed Ice Cube they will never speak to me again.

 

Watch out for JDL Street Art’s work and follow her on instagram here and facebook here.