For King Amsterdam, there is no cutting corners when it comes to his craft. Looking at his artwork, viewers often don't realize the hours of work that goes into each individual piece. They don't see the planning and cutting out of each stencil, or the application of 5-7 layers of spray paint."You don't have to do it this way, but it's how I do it. It makes the art look sharp. It just perfects it."
It was this work ethic that helped King Amsterdam to create "20 on 20" this past summer. He posted 20 pieces of art between 21st-35th Street in Astoria, Queens. "Some layers took ten minutes to dry. With each piece getting 7-10 layers, you're looking at 45 minutes per piece. Between each layer, I'll grab a coffee or do an errand. I have to keep moving or I'll get caught (by a cop). In the summer, there are more cops on foot. It's more risky to work in the summer".
King Amsterdam hails from Amsterdam, New York. With 12 years of graffiti under his belt, he ventured into stencil art three years ago. His work isn't political, but is bathed with escapism. "When people look at my work, I want them to feel happy. I want them to remember childhood. Take a look at my piece with the bomb pop. When people look at that, I want them to remember hearing and seeing the ice-cream truck coming down the block."
When asked where street art is going, King Amsterdam takes a pause. "It's the largest movement. It's knocking on the door. With technology getting better, I don't even think street art has reached its peaked yet. People can't ignore it anymore." Surely, with the fine lines, colors and layers of his artwork, no one will be overlooking King Amsterdam either.
To check out more of King Amsterdam's work, you can check out his Instagram.