Niels 'Shoe' Meulman

Dutch, b. 1967

Based in Amsterdam, Niels Meulman is an internationally known visual artist, graphic designer, and art director. Meulman began tagging “Shoe” in 1979 and became a graffiti legend by the time he was 18. Together with Bando in Paris and Mode2 in London, he formed the Crime Time Kings and strove to define the style of European graffiti. In the 1990s Meulman furthered his technique by apprenticing under the Dutch graphic artist Anthon Beeke, and later ran his own design company, Caulfield & Tensing. In 2007, he revolutionized the art of writing with Calligraffiti, an art form that fuses calligraphy and graffiti. The intricate curves of his linework are derived from a long interest in the beauty of the written word, referencing an impressive range of forms from the calligraphy of sacred Arabic texts, to the vertical writing of East Asian scripts, to the richly illuminated manuscripts of medieval times. Widely acclaimed, Meulman’s calligraphic paintings have been shown in countless international exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.