We had the good fortune of connecting with Marcus Debie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marcus, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I worked at an office for 25 years as graphic designer staring at a computer screen all day, and did murals as a side job all that time. But more and more commissioned mural requests came along so I jumped into the deep becoming a full time artist and started doing what I really want and enjoy doing, being an international street artist/muralist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art consists out large scale murals and paintings on canvas and sculptures. *My murals are considered a pinnacle of post-neo graffitism, the fusion of photorealistic images in a mind bending surrealistic setup, against cubistic and organic shapes, complex layered, distorted and fragmented, in a Picasso or Hieronymus Bosch like composition, combining acrylics and sprays in a vibrant and unique idiosyncratic way. For my paintings I use mixed media; oil paint, spray paint, acrylics, resin, torn paper, rusted bolts and more. These artworks are exhibited at art shows and galleries all over the world, like in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, England, Italy, Croatia, Sweden, Greece, Spain, United States and Australia. It took me more than 35 years to get me where I am today. After graduating from art school in 1996 I always kept painting but this was more commercial and commissioned mural art. Through the years I developed my personal style*. This was hard because in the art world you have to get goodwill from influencers and collectors to get recognition for your work. I often felt that your skills and experience were not always decisive for success but more who you know in this world, your network. My motto was always never to quit and be true to yourself, create beautiful and high skilled art and then recognition and succes will come in time. Early 2019 I had a bad accident during work. The scaffolding I was standing on doing a mural collapsed. The fall shattered both of my heels in more than 10 pieces. I had to learn to walk again after months of recovery. Having a job standing all day this wasn’t always easy. Still my heels hurt after standing all day but this never discouraged me to keep on doing what gives me pleasure and fulfillment. So keep believing in yourself and be positive. Surround yourself with people you love and love you back that’s the most important. And stay safe in whatever you do, don’t take any unnecessary risks like I did on that scaffolding. What makes me most proud is that I have the biggest mural of the Netherlands on my name, 2000 m2 which is really huge. This was actually the first mural I did after my recovery from the accident which makes it even more special.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in the south of the Netherlands, in the province Limburg, near the German and Belgium border. This is approx 2 hours car drive from the big cities in Holland like Amsterdam, The Haque and Rotterdam. Where we live it’s more quiet, smaller cities and more country side, hills and forests. My hometown Sittard-Geleen has approx 95000 residents. It’s an old town with a typical Dutch center square from 1150 ad. Here you have a lot of fine restaurants and bars to have dinner and drinks. Another nearby city you have to visit is Maastricht. The capital of Limburg. Also a beautiful old city, maybe the most beautiful city of the Netherlands. Nearby abroad cities like Aachen (Germany) and Liège (Belgium) can be reached within half an hour, or Cologne, Brussels and Antwerp within 1 hour. All are old and typical European cities worth visiting. I would recommend to go to some museums and have a grand street art tour passed some of my murals in the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Actually it’s my wife Nancy because she’s my support and creative sparring partner, administrative backbone of my or better ‘our’ company GOMAD Urban Art Studio. I’m a creative person and not that fond of numbers and Nancy is. She’s also active ‘on’ the walls helping me by filling colors in the background, picking colors schemes and such things. And of course my parents because they always kept believing in me.