‘He who does, creates’
Joos van Barneveld, better known as DOES or Digitaldoes, was born in Veghel, The Netherlands, in 1982. His prime passion was football and he trained and played as a professional player for football club Fortuna Sittard from the age of 9. In 1997 he discovered graffiti, a passion that coerced him into a double life. For more than a decade he was forced to combine the daily needs of a professional athlete with the night-time secrets of a graffiti writer. In 2010 a knee injury forced him to give up his career as a football player and rethink his future.
Where many would have experienced a drama, DOES saw the possibility to exclusively devote himself to art, developing his practice and carrying his craftsmanship to a higher level with the same dedication, focus and self-restraint that football taught him. Through the years, both as an artist and as a member of the LoveLetters graffiti crew, his style, which is today highly recognizable, has become a mix of influences from old-school writers and his own research. In his drawings and paintings you can discover the roots of 3D lettering, but you can also be surprised by his patient research of well balanced color schemes and his capacity of controlling the purity of outlines. As Phase 2 wrote in his Style Writing from the Underground manifesto in 1996: “Writing is centered on names, words and letters. Combined with the objective of their execution, this creates the product and the overall make up of the writer”. DOES perfectly understood this process and calmly researched his own style, which can be seen as a kind of controlled dripping. His letters, with their dizzying colour schemes, are stretched so much that they seem to release their energy and spread drips all over the wall.
While many recognize him as an ultra-talented draftsman and an amazing colourist, DOES is today moving the boundaries of his own artistic research in new conceptual directions, looking at graffiti as an archive from which he can physically pull out samples that embody his own roots. He drills or peels off walls covered with spray paint to include these artefacts into sculptures made of plaster. He develops a kind of contemporary archeology of urban spaces, keeping a trace of the geographical coordinates of these walls, readapting the tools of a science that normally deals with past times to underline his own story and the impact of graffiti culture on our society.