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International Artists Gather for Graffiti Festival in Zagreb

CroatiaSome of world’s best graffiti artists have gathered in Croatia’s capital Zagreb recently to take part in the 6th Meeting of Styles graffiti festival…

Meeting of Styles is the biggest global graffiti event, organised in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, and this year featured a strong line-up of artists, including Croatia’s leading graffiti artist, and organiser and host of the event Slaven Kosanovic – Lunar.

“In 2014 we agreed to upgrade the barrel painting event from last year and take it to another level by inviting a team of international artists. Being in the graffiti world for a longer time, I wanted to focus on several pioneers of the european graffiti scene, along with a couple of us from the second generation,” Slaven told Croatia Week.

The international artists were welcomed to Croatia with a party at the Pepermint Club in downtown Zagreb, where Slaven and others spinned some 80’s tunes mixed new wave electronic sounds of the 80’s to get the visitors in the mood. Proceeds from the party, which was titled Neon Kater, went to a family who lost their home during the recent floods in Gunja, in the eastern part of the country.

The following day the artists met to brainstorm some ideas and get some inspiration.

“In the afternoon we’ve had a small private garden party at the property of my late grandparents. My brother now lives there and my parents have a small garden and orchard plus the place brings a lot of good memories which makes it a perfect spot for inspiration,” explained Slaven, before the group of artists set about painting the barrels located at a former military hospital in Vlaska street.

Old barrels being painted

Old barrels being painted

“The painting action was a part of Design day event. Last year the auction was organised and we collected a certain amount of money and gifted it to a anti-cancer league in Zagorje. This year we’re gonna do another auction, that’s why I wanted to have internationally known artists participating, to collect more money and give it to someone who really needs it. My initial plan is the home for the kids who are born with hydrocephalus”.

The following day saw the Meeting of Styles event take place again, the first time again since 2008.

“When I was invited for the first time to a MOS in Wiesbaden (Germany) in 2000, I was amazed by the amount of quality works from all over the world. Already in 2002 I tried to organise it in Zagreb, and succeeded to do that in 2003 for the first time. Stupni, one of my closest friends. and I decided to team up on this project and we managed to run it for 5 years in a row, till 2008, when we stopped, due to a lack of time and not willing to cope with the sponsors anymore. This year is a bit special, Jack in the arts, a project financially supported by Jack Daniels, allowed me to bring people whose work I appreciate very much. With most of them I have worked on various projects abroad, and I was happy to be able to host them in Zagreb this time,” Slaven said, who with the help of his brother, managed to secure a wall for the artists to use along the railway tracks.

“CMP was the first graffiti artists from the international scene that I was in contact with, this was the first time he was able to leave his family and duties and come to Zagreb for a weekend. I spoke to all the participants in advance and suggested to them to cut their artist fees, as well as my entire organising fee and put in into paint for the wall. Initially I was planning for us to team up on a much smaller wall, to have one more nice things to remember. When I didn’t find anything suitable, my brother just mentioned the Croatian railways wall along Magazinska street, that he and our friend Monet organized back in 2009. I’ve asked Croatian railways, they agreed right away. Since I’ve had such a big surface available, I’ve mailed my friend Manuel, the organiser of the international Meeting of styles, whether he agreed on the MOS name to be used in Zagreb again after a longer while, he accepted and we proudly hosted the 6th Meeting of styles in Zagreb. I’ve also invited my brother and friends from Zagreb, as well as friends from neighbouring cities to participate and we were already bigger and stronger and able to paint much more”.

Artists work on the Croatian Railways wall

Artists work on the Croatian Railways wall

Slaven managed to convince some of the most talented graffiti artists of today to come to Zagreb for the festival, including 2 Fast, Artez, Cazer, CMP, Corte, Flying Förtress, The London Police – Official, Modul, Mosk, Nikone, Rienke Enghardt, Senk, Smack, Stan, Super Timor, Tizer. Thorn, Won and Zedz.

“One of the greatest things about graffiti is the collaboration and the travel experience, elevated from regular tourism by this private component which allows you to get familiar with the soul of the city, see the things you didn’t plan to see, get the proper introduction to everyday life and leave some nice colourful mark as well,” concluded Slaven.

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