Bortusk Leer: Crazy, colourful monsters hanging out on the streets!
Like the creeper I am, I
I can’t remember where I first saw them – I think I first found his work on Insta maybe? – but after years of travelling and scouting out street art and graffiti etc I have come across them a few times – I just can’t remember where. 😛
Although I came across his work firstly in the street (painted on both English and Dutch newspapers), this isn’t the only place and method in which he paints – he also paints his monsters on canvas, wood and card, using mainly spray and oil paint.
As well as these, he also creates messy, colourful collages of his monsters, complete with lots of bright scribbles and strokes that all help make it look like a kid has created it 😀
I think this is one of the best things about BL’s work – it doesn’t appear that he takes himself too seriously. That really shines through and makes the work even better in my eyes because you can just tell the person creating the work is really enjoying the process!
He also has available (in his shop) cute crocheted versions of his characters, and wooden sculptures of them too! I don’t know which ones I like the most!
Why do I love his work?
Well firstly, there’s no mistaking his unique style – I don’t think I’ve seen any other artist who creates anything similar.
It’s really childish, yet still has a somewhat adult appeal. No cartoon or character aimed at kids is going to have a message declaring, ‘be fucking nice‘. 😀 Even his signature looks like a kid has written it… ah, I love it!
Also, the colours he uses are great – he keeps it simple with a bright, bold aesthetic, combining colours that might normally be considered ‘complimentary’ – the same kind of colour combinations you might normally see in kids cartoons and books. It really adds to the childish quirkiness – and I love that it’s an adult creating it!
I was intrigued as to his process of creating these pieces but I’ve gathered the gist of it from the studio shots he posts. Starting with a base of spray painted shapes (for the body) he then adds the details with a little more paint or marker, taking care not to go perfectly over the outside of the shapes. And by going out of the lines it makes it look more childlike 🙂
On a more personal note, me and my mate Brains, who always travels with me (some of you will have met her at various festivals/ galleries etc) have a huge mutual love for anything childish/ geeky/ cartoony – crazy, quirky little characters and cartoons with funny quotes are one of our fave things ever. We’ve picked funny characters out to each other so many times (particularly in the work of Lastplak, SPZero and many others) … so his work reminds me of my bestie, which is awesome.
I’m just sad I didn’t find any of his pieces when I was last in Amsterdam… I guess I’ll have to just keep a lookout when I next go back 😉
** All images and work belong to, and are copyright of, Bortusk Leer **
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My latest for @graffitikings is now live – 10 More Street Artists Doing Something UNIQUE! Feat…. (Go follow all these artists and check out their work because they're awesome: @Luzinterruptus @earandthere @levaletdessinderue @lexzooz @spidertag (who is in this amazingly beautiful photo) @motiquedesigns @philippebaudelocque @slinkachu @tapeoverberlin AAAAAND #Sam3 (who I can't find on Insta 😕) … Go read (link in my bio) & let me know what you think – and feel free to tag other artists that you think I should know/ write about under here 😀