DOES recently sat down with Maxime Delcourt from Graffiti Art Magazine for their issue 44.
Former professional football player turned into a graffiti artist and sculptor, Dutch artist Does stands out for his ability to juggle between formats and play with colors to create flamboyant artworks.
Everybody knows the story: it is that of a football player with a bright future ahead who ends up quitting the game after a bad injury. But the story of Joos Van Barneveld is a bit different, as he quickly developed a passion for graffiti next to his football practice. It kept him connected to reality and brought balance to his life.
So when the time came to leave the field, his choice of life was not much of a surprise. For him, it was an
opportunity to perfect his style and focus on his drawings: what regular football practices and weekend games had prevented him from doing. Although, as he honestly explains: “when I started graffiti, I had no intention to make a living out of it. It was a passion next to my day job. I needed to escape all the constraints and rules I had to follow as a football player. This is what graffiti brought me: anonymity, creativity and a shot of adrenalin because it was illegal… Nobody knew, aside from my close friends, so it made me feel free. I could be whoever I wanted”.
For several years, Does led a double life. He was Joos Van Barneveld during the day, a football player in the first Dutch divisions, and at night, he was Does, an artist obsessed with lines and forms. However everything changed in 2010. Annoyed by his repetitive injuries, he decided to stop playing, travelled the world for a year and exiled for over 6 months in Australia. Officially it was to be with his girlfriend, but really, he needed a change of scenery to take the time to think about his art and meet a few contacts he had over there. Since then, Does has come back to Geleen, near Sittard, the small town of southern Netherland he grew up in. This is where he learned painting and drawing,and where he decided to establish his studio last year, in a relatively new building, far away from the cliché of the graffiti artist working in an artistic squat wasteland.
“The studio was built in 2018, so everything is still very neat. Well… it’s kind of changing, because projects have recently started to pile up. But I try to keep my head over the water.” Very comfortable in this place he already calls his “second home”, Does experiments and tries everything: canvas, illustration, mural painting, etc. “I don’t want to set boundaries, he shyly explains. I like to switch styles and find balance by exploring different art forms and using various media. It is a way to constantly evolve and
keep it interesting.” Recently, this artist known for his lettering, a major component of his art –he is one of the founding
members of the LoveLetters crew–, has turned to sculpture. BRIQUE is a project he already exhibited at group shows in Dortmund and Miami. “For me, it is a way of putting lines aside and focusing on forms in order to bring more depth to my works. Something I can’t do with painting.” As he is about to leave for residencies in Greece, Australia and China, the artist concludes: “the BRIQUE project is also a way to imagine the future and open creative spaces for artists.”
Does has not lost his team spirit…
Text Maxime Delcourt