Frankey Archives

Art

March 6, 2024

Kate Mothes

A wooden sculpture of Pinocchio hangs from a tree branch as if his nose has grown so long it is an entire tree.

Photo by Yvonne Mak. All images © Frankey, shared with permission

Each week, Amsterdam-based artist Frank “Frankey” de Ruwe finds a new location to inspire playful, often ironic installations around the city. From a bridge support transformed into a rhinoceros to a police car leaping over a portico to a miniature surfer riding an awning, his pieces both celebrate and find humor in locations throughout the city.

About two decades ago, Frankey landed on a copy of Banksy’s Wall and Piece, a collection of many of the famed graffiti artist and political activist’s interventions in cities around the world. Frankey tells Colossal it was an “aha!” moment. “I knew graffiti and always liked it because of the bright colors it added to the cityscape,” he says. “But Banksy showed me that art in public space could also be very funny and smart.”

On Saturdays, Frankey publishes a new artwork on Instagram and in the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. Without permits, installing the work is technically illegal, but he pays a great deal of attention to his materials and installation methods to avoid actually vandalizing any property. “I do have some rules for myself because I love Amsterdam a lot,” Frankey says in a recent interview with The New York Times. “I don’t want to harm the city at all, so all the pieces I make can be removed quite easily without leaving any damage.”

Frankey works with a wide variety of magnets, ties, and double-sided tape, challenging himself to connect sculptures to buildings, civic structures, or trees without using screws or permanent glues. The flip side of making them easy to remove is that they often are, as passersby pick them up or fans seek out pieces to collect.

Find more on the artist’s website.

A street art intervention on a bridge column with eyes and two white horns to make it look like a rhino.

Photo by Jurre Rompa

A little sculpture of a police car is stuck to a brick wall and appears to leap over a door.

A sculpture of Darth Vader is placed onto a sign that reads

A small sculpture of a surfer sits on the top of an awning

Photo by Jurre Rompa

A small sculpture of a surfer sails down an exterior awning

Photo by Jurre Rompa

A sculpture of a chimpanzee climbs down a rope made of sheets as if escaping.

Photo by Jurre Rompa

A sculptural intervention on a light post in which a cupid shoots an arrow through the post.

Photo by Jurre Rompa

A sculptural intervention on a large pink duct outside, with a flamingo's head stuck in the end of the pipe.

Artist Frankey stands in a boat in an Amsterdam canal and places sculptural pieces onto the side of a bridge

Photo by Jurre Rompa

 

 

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