10 years of Lastplak

The infamous Lastplak collective has been making the streets a better place for over ten years! To celebrate, the team of artists have released a book with ten years of Lastplak. The book perfectly illustrates how immensely productive this Rotterdam based team of artist has been: 320 pages covering from 2001 up to 2011! All the different members have a long history in graffiti and / or other art forms and they all bring a different style to the table. This always makes for an eclectic and eye catching mix of styles. We had a small chat with Chris, part of the collective and producer of this book:

What is your roll in Lastplak?
I’ve been part of the Lastplak collective since 2003. In the early days we were mostly working with stickers, but because more and more members of the collective turned out to have a background in graffiti we started working with spray cans more often. Eventually we all influenced each other: Suddenly the autonomous artist stood next to the tracks painting a latex piece, and the graffiti writer sat down with a brush in his hands to create an oil-painting. Our common denominator is the huge love for image. We don’t care about how you make something, as long as it looks poppin’.

How did the book came to realisation?
I was walking around with this idea in my head for a while now, but our ten years anniversary was a good reason to actually create the book. I just called every Lastplak member and told them ‘listen, I’m going to make a book about us so mail me all your images you want to have in the book!’ Next to that I also went through my own archive and this way I collected a huge pile of material. Next thing I did was putting everything in chronological order, really simple actually. The chapters run from 2001 to 2011 and cover the past 10 years. Along the way I got more help from the rest of the crew and that’s how the book was established. The first publisher we approached was Trichis from Rotterdam and we had an agreement after the first appointment. They take care of everything relating to sales, distribution and promotion; things we don’t know a thing about, haha!

Was it a lot of work?
It was an incredible shitload of work! You have to imagine that all the images from the early years were analog and had to be scanned. Digital images had another problem; it were so much of them that at times I was busy picking out photos for days, just for one chapter. There was so much good material that we requested the distributor for more pages. Luckily we could go from 256 pages to 320, but still, half-way the year 2006 we already had created 400 pages. The most difficult thing was removing material, ideally you’d place everything. That’s why we focussed on street work. There are almost no canvas or exhibition works in there. That already made things a lot easier. Writing pieces of text also proved to be difficult. How do you clearly explain to your readers what you did at what place without falling back on graffiti slang? In some cases we kept the description to who-what-where information.

Do you hope to create another one of these in another ten years?
If I haven’t relocated to some tropic island yet, of course! We’re all a lot older than when we started out and I am certainly curious if and how our work will evolve in the next ten years. Who knows, maybe ‘Lastplakisme’ will finally be a recognized art movement!

Pre-order the book @ Trichis publishers here!

About Arden de Raaij

Front-end developer, Photographer and co-founder of cfye.com, originally from Amsterdam the Netherlands but currently located in Lisbon, Portugal.