Collage, 120 cm x 120 cm, Amsterdam, NL

Photo installation (directly printed on aluminum dibond panels), 2009, dordrecht, NL

Mural with Erosie at group exhibition 'Random Order', 2010, Hasselt, BE (

Mural at Graphic Design festival, 2008, Breda, NL (3D object by Marcel Thelen)

Mural, 2009, Utrecht, NL

Photos taken between 2006 -2010, uploaded to (online archive of a small selection of our photography)

Murals in Club Trouw, 2009/10, Amsterdam, NL

Painting on deep edge canvas titled 'NDSM'. Mixed media, 150 cm x 200 cm.

Mural, 2008, Zaandam, NL

Mural at NDSM, 2009, Amsterdam, NL

Graphic Surgery Piece

Photos taken between 2006 -2010, uploaded to (online archive of a small selection of our photography)

Scanned collage, 2009, Amsterdam, NL

Reconstruct Solo exhibition 'Reconstruct', Extrabold Gallery, 2009, Luxemburg, L (

Mural at Java eiland, 2009, Amsterdam, NL

I first started to notice the work of Graphic Surgery through their murals on the internet, it was only until recently that i started to see the full scope of their artwork. It is hard to define the works of Graphic Surgery as they cross so many mediums and intertwine them all into there final finished work. Hard edges, perfect line work, geometric compositions built from the daily snapshots of their environment. Seeing art in images of cranes and the natural design of their cities. Using space and design to build powerful works of art and detailed Murals. This Netherlands based artistic duo made the time to talk to us about there work, here is our conversation.

GF: Thanks for taking the time to have this conversation with us, i know its tough and you guys are pretty busy at the moment and working on a lot of projects, add that with being half way around the world and a 9 hour time difference i think we finally got this worked out.

Graphic Surgery: You’re welcome. Thanks also.

GF: So what is Graphic Surgery exactly, and how did it come to formation?

Graphic Surgery: Graphic Surgery is the collaboration between visual artists Erris Huigens and Gysbert Zijlstra. We met in art academy, where we noticed each others’ early work. We both took similar photos of mostly city surfaces, details and elements. Our first project together was during a screen printing class.

GF: How would you describe the work you do, and does medium play into a particular style. For instance do you approach a wall differently than you approach design or print.

Graphic Surgery: The term Graphic Surgery is a description of the way we work. The process itself is a cut and paste approach. We sample from our own photographic sources and construct a dynamic tension of graphic elements. Whether we make a collage, painting, screen print or a mural, we like the idea of not knowing on forehand what the end result will exactly look like. We like to work with certain rules and restrictions though to ensure a recognizable style and narrow down the endless visual options.

GF:Why do you paint walls, i know it seems like a weird question but it is something that intrigues me about abstract painters that are so good at design and painting. It seems that to paint a wall there must be some other driving force.

Graphic Surgery: Walls are one of many surfaces we love to apply our work to. Our work is strongly influenced by city elements. The city is mostly built up out of walls, so it is simply a perfect surface to apply it to. One could say our work belongs to walls. We actually started painting on walls because we lacked a certain amount of studio space, wanted to work big and love to paint in public space/ the streets.

GF: Coming from a more Graffiti letter based origin at first it took me years to start to evolve into a more abstract style. Do your paintings have any letters in them at all, if not what is the basis of the artwork. If one doesn’t approach the wall to paint a word or letters, what is the idea behind the painting?

Graphic Surgery: It has never been about letters. Though some shapes may even seem to be letters. We do have the idea to construct a font one day, using our typical visual language. Through the years a recurring theme are ‘construction cranes’. Besides being visually and endlessly inspiring, cranes are the symbol of change in the city. Wherever there is a crane something is going to be built or demolished. As soon as the transformation has been completed the cranes move to the next part of the city. The process of a city under construction fascinates us. In our work we try to capture this process of constant change.

GF:I only ask this to enlighten other artists that sometimes struggle with letting go of letters all together and really just painting.

Graphic Surgery: We like to work with graffiti writers, yet we always work with writers who do something different. In essence they are still graffiti writers, but they also take it to a next level. Letters and type still form the base of their work, but they dare to think outside the standard rules of graffiti. The trained eye can still read their letters and recognize a certain style, but for most people it’s abstract painting. At this point we meet. Many people try to ‘read’ our murals and try to make letters out of it, which is fully understandable, cause a lot of times it’s placed within a graffiti context.

GF:I know as a working artist it is a must to make money while working and to make sure there is food on the table and a roof over your head. What is graphic surgery’s idea of a perfect paying project?

Graphic Surgery:Getting paid a fair amount of money for the work you want to make, and at least all expenses are paid for.

GF: I seen that you just finished a show at Alley Gallery in Hasselt, Belgium, how was that experience and is it something you would do again?

Graphic Surgery:It’s always good to work towards an exhibition, a driving force to produce new work. As artists it’s very important to exhibit your work in group- as well as in solo shows. Of course we’ll do it again. In fact we are working on two new exhibition concepts at the moment, also incorporating 3D-installation and animation.

GF: Any advice to other artists out there that might be looking to get into similar endeavors as graphic surgery?

Graphic Surgery: Make sure your work is good and most important: keep refreshing yourself. Yet you’ll also have to find a way to make a living. You’ll have to connect with people who might like your work. Selling is a result, never the aim of a conversation.

GF:One question i ask of each artist I Interview is to try to define the word Graffuturism as it has not true definition yet.

Dynamic Graffolution. It’s about redefining graffiti boundaries.

GF:Any last words or shout outs to anyone?

Graphic Surgery:Shout to all our on- and offline friends, family and favorites.

To see more of there work you can check out the sites below.

Graphic Surgery Site
Graphic Surgery Flickr
Graphic Surgery Photos on Fotolog