My paintings are about the audibility of letterforms. As I explore the way sound influences shape a post-graffiti aesthetic unfolds, where the curves of old school wild-style graffiti, are distilled and invited to speak in an improvised, abstract, minimalistic visual language.


Selected paintings by LØV (1993 to 2018)

Back in the mid-80s, a kid from an insignificant scandinavian island travels with his parents to New York. He gets exposed to the wild-style graffiti, that was brought to life by the early hip hop movement. The grime streets of New York couldn’t be further away from the tranquility of the remote Danish village he called home, but the visual language used by the painters, to be seen and heard, to claim back the right to express oneself in the public space, struck a nerve. Soon he would be looking for a wall in the village, he hadn’t yet painted. With limited access to a real urbanscape, he took his endeavours inside, exploring the DNA of graffiti: the velocity of lines, the beat of curves, the volume of contrasts, the unapologetic attitudes in the paintings as a whole. At the time graffiti was a misunderstood echo from the underground, dismissed as vandalism or “crime-art”. Today, these paintings is a testimony to the richness, diversity and inclusiveness of Hip hop. Hip hip started as a local NY subculture, but had the power to spread across the globe and establish itself with slight variations as far away as the frozen Northern European underground. Hip hop defies capitalist limitations to public expression. Hip hop is being conscious and seeking truth and asking questions. Hip hop is a creative space for scores to be settled. It’s beats, moves, rhymes, letters, poetry, mics and cans over gang violence. In all regions of the world people will relate to such a space and start honing the same skills in order to find their own strong voice within it.

The impact of remote nature and silence on a visuel culture reflecting big city grime and street cultures.

Post-graffiti painting by LØV, is graphic, minimalist and bypasses the literate and illustrative expressions in favour of examining the audiovisual properties of ‘writing’ and letterforms: the vibe of hip hop, the improvisations in jazz, and the minimalism of electronic music, are all present in the lines and compositions of a painting by LØV.

All LØV paintings are done in free hand. No stencils or masking. The ultra sharp outlines are achieved through iterations of detailing the outlines by hand. The process is slow compared to outlining with spray paint like in traditional graffiti art. Every painting by LØV evolves from a freestyle process of drawing black outlines that defines the rhythm and volume of the given piece. Often each line informs the next one and the piece is born from a single “first take” drawing session. The balance between long curved shapes and the sudden shift in direction makes “visual music”.
From early on in the creation process the canvas is often rotated, this paves the way for a balance in the composition that ultimately means that a LØV painting is signed on the back as it can hang upside down and sideways.


Up until recently paintings by LØV have been among the better kept secret treasures in the the post-graffiti urban art scene. While the early works of LØV was exhibited in Berlin, London and Copenhagen the artist have been out of the spotlight for almost two decades. Over those years painting have been a personal creative outlet for a visual artist turned creative technologist, graphic communication designer, creative director and design strategist: Leif Løvgreen, aka LØV.

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