Fading Ad Blog Rotating Header Image

Leiden NL

Stilte Buiten – Silence Outside – Leiden, Netherlands – Gaia Son

Outside University student association © Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

P.J. Mulder & zoon – Boek en Steendrukkerij (1872 – 1951) – Book Publishing & Lithography – Leiden, NL – Gaia Son, Lowlands Correspondence

Steen en boek drukkerij – Drukkerij Mulder – Stone & Book publishing – Miller Publishing © Gaia Son

The iconic windmill in the Dutch landscape is equally ubiquitous in literature and graphic representations. Here in this painted advert, it is used as a reference as to what the windmill can do, other than pumping water out to the sea, but milling grain. Mulder in Dutch is Miller and the windmill is a miller’s most prized tool- but the stone is the printer’s most prized tool – a smooth limestone surface used in lithographic printing, which was developed in the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder.

© Gaia Son

Jaarboekje voor geschiedenis en oudheidkunde van Leiden en Rijnland. Tevens orgaan van de vereeniging Oud Leiden 1940 – Yearbook for the history and archeology of Leiden and Rhineland. Also the document of the Union of Old Leiden 1940 – P.J. Mulder & Zoon

Taken from the above historical publication printed by P.J. Mulder & Son, This is the Coat of Arms & Motto of Leiden: Haec Libertatis Ergo – Omwille van de vrijheid – For the sake of freedom – which refers to the time of the Dutch resistance against the Spaniards in the sixteenth century, given the time of this printing in 1940 during the German Occupation, its meaning resounded.

Haec Libertatis Ergo Geocoin Antique Silver – Geocaching Coin – CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

© Gaia Son

Peddling of print works on the public street – Het venten van drukwerk op de openbare straat – (Leiden – P.J. Mulder en Zoon, 1895)

© Gaia Son

Title page from Het Venten van drukwerk op de openbare straat by J.J. van Riemsdijk Kreenen

© Gaia Son

P.J. Mulder & zoon, Boek en Steendrukkerij Breestraat 70  (1872 – 1951)

Photo taken on March 12, 2007 www.ipernity.com/doc/288839/16965727 © Michiel 2005

Other samples of printed materials by Mulder:

Board game manufactured by the Dutch Savings Band – www.hongs.nl/index.asp?u=Mulder%20Leyden&vi=li


FAB Spotlight on Street Art: Be Pleasant – Three Generations of Artists

By placing ourselves into the environment with the paintings, we create a layered effect that distorts reality and offers a kind of real time interaction with the environment which suggests that we are part of the art. – PLEASANT

Greetings, my name is Pleasant…. I  am a visual artist who is currently presenting a selection of my work in a project I have titled: Portable Expressions. In this series… I use static imagery and live interaction to convey a series of ideas. I was in Fort Greene recently performing this art [and] currently in the Nederlands bound for Paris in a few days where I shall appear in a documentary film piece about my new approach to street art and design.

Portable Expressions

These newest images come from Leiden with Pleasant’s Artist assistant, Farah participating in collaboration.

I very much believe in diversity and providing layers of creative content. An alumnus of the New York School of Visual Arts, I also make indirect commentary related to men’s issues and gay rights… in addition to socio-political commentary. Sadly this fact has isolated me in the USA at times. As most recently the so called ‘diverse’ Brooklyn Street Art association refused to cover my work. Their communication with me would be considered hostile at best. Perhaps a little racist too? maybe, I felt it. However despite this kind of treatment and blatant exclusion I continue forward in my work.

Pleasant Promo Shot

Both my father and grandfather were artists and both contributed to the city of Savannah significantly. I have produced a book of the collected murals, paintings and signage of my family titled, ‘PLEASANT Signs’. You can see some of my Dad’s work via his website.  I also present a lecture series titled, Three Generations of Pleasant Art. The book Pleasant Signs has found it’s way to the Collegiate school, School of Visual Arts and Bank Street College’s libraries. My Dad documented life in his art in the south during the civil rights movement from a local perspective. My Dad was a Bahai’ and an advocate for integration and the rights of all people including homosexuals, women and others. He took much abuse during his lifetime as a mixed race Black American artist. To this very day the local (tax-supported) art museum, the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah refuses to support or acknowledge my father’s art contributions. His collection of paintings are unique and vast and his murals and signage dominate Savannah’s environment, appearing on many of Savannah’s, media promoted, famed historical tourist destinations. Despite this fact, there is little to no mention of my father’s art contributions… I continue as the third generation of Pleasant Artists continuing my family’s art legacy.

Pleasant Signs book produced in collaboration by Designer, Jalal Pleasant and Author, David Pleasant.

My Dad (Willam Pleasant, Jr.) was a Bahai’ and an advocate for integration and the rights of all people including homosexuals, women and others.

The shy Duck who inspired the World to smile – © PLEASANT

Overview of ‘Portable Expressions’

Portable Expressions is an evolution of my Suspended Thoughts installation art series. It continues my work in the development of establishing a static interactive experience for observers of this art. I have presented several versions of this series around the world. Similarly, Portable Expressions will take place (someplace) in New York City, Amsterdam and Paris. February-March 2013. Documentation of this project, including location details as to where observers may publicly see Pleasant art graphics shall be published via my website  and FACEBOOK.

This outdoor art installation consisting of several pieces sometimes suspended by wire, offers viewers an opportunity to become participants. Through multiple modes of interaction, you can independently touch elements and rearrange them in any given pattern. This installation is constructed in a method that integrates with and compliments its host space. Sometimes my ‘suspended’ style artworks have been referred to as “portable graffiti”. This is a result of the stylized art’s ability to enhance a setting without permanently altering it’s environment via creating a layered affect.

This installation uses a mix of fine art painting, graphic and conceptual design and sculptural elements. The host outdoor space serves as a foundation for the canvas. I often begin by planting a pre-rendered graphic design image of my Pleasant Spaceman graphic to represent the optimism of the future and go from there. Other elements include natural and inorganic imagery.

My mission is to engage all, and specifically young people in critical thinking; to question the order and structure of their environment and to consider how they may actualize their own personal understanding of creative expression and their role in defining the environment in which they live.  – Troy Davis, Warming, Corporate Bullshit, dreams and the loss of the old New York. …Dude Where’s my Bodega?   This Sucka ain’t dead yet.  In contrast it isn’t Pleasant art.  …Is it edgy?


b. 19 . 12 . 1974  (Georgia, USA) native Pleasant attended Pratt Institute and is an alumnus of the New York School of Visual Arts. Pleasant is a full-time Fine artist, Installation Artist, Curator, Lecturer and Designer. Pleasant received formal art instruction under the tutelage’s of NYC abstract painter Michael Goldberg, Kenny Scharf and fashion art Illustrator, Jack Potter. And is currently gallery represented along with Artists, Shepard Fairey, BustArt, Inkie, London Police among others. In addition Pleasant is an active published Apple® Developer/Designer. Select collections include, Estate of American Comedian Richard Pryor, Batoto Yetu and the University of Haifa. Pleasant has published appearances with the Nation Magazine, BlackBook Magazine, Nickelodeon Television/MTV Viacom, Het Parool, DeVolkskrant, Woodstock Times (NY)  and The New York Press / Chelsea Clinton News, New York, New York among many others. Pleasant is currently working on publishing his second art book slated for release in late 2013.

Lowlands Correspondent: Gaia Son – Cooperatieve Broodbakkerij – ‘Ons Doel’ – Cooperative Bread Bakery – Our Goal – Leiden, NL

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son


Lowlands Correspondent: Gaia Son – Miss Blanche Virginia Cigarettes – Leiden, NL – Vilmos Huszar: De Stijl & Dutch Modernism

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

Vilmos Huszár (1884–1960) was a Hungarian painter and designer. He lived in The Netherlands, where he was one of the founder members of the art movement De Stijl.

Huszár was born in Budapest, Hungary. He emigrated to The Netherlands in 1905, settling at first in Voorburg. He was influenced by Cubism and Futurism. He met other influential artists including Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, both central figures in establishing the De Stijl movement with Huszár in 1917. Huszár also co-founded the De Stijl magazine and designed the cover for the first issue.

In 1926 he created a complete visual identity for Miss Blanche Virginia cigarettes, which included packaging, advertising, andpoint of sale displays. The concept drew on the imagery associated with the emergent “New Women”, or Flappers. The Flappers were perceived as young, single, urban, and employed, with independent ideas and a certain disdain for authority and social norms. The smoking of cigarettes was closely associated with their newfound independence. –Wikipedia 


Lowlands Correspondent: Gaia Son – Stoom Boek en Steendrukkerij – Steam Book & Stone Lithography – Leiden, NL

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

Description: Steam Printing, shop and apartment

Between 1889 and 1890 this steam printing business with associated store and attic apartment was build. Printing (1889) as well as shop (1890) were built by Eduard IJdo designed by architect D. Veilbrief. The most representative facade of the store with apartment is built close to the then very common Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. The other facades have no particular stylistic characteristics. Parts of the store interior are in original condition and in close stylistically to the exterior. The Highland Kerkgracht oriented retail property is part of the protected townscape. – National Monuments Website – Rijksmonumenten NL

Lowlands Correspondents: Gaia Son & Jamie van Loon – Robes et Confections – Nieuwe Rijn, Leiden NL

© Gaia Son

© Jamie van Loon

Lowlands Correspondent – Gaia Son with Assistant Jamie Van Loon – Van Houten’s Cacao – De Beste – Leiden, NL

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son


Lowlands Correspondent: Gaia Son – Gerard M. Dee – Garage – Gasoline & Oil – Leiden, NL

Breestaat 28 – Benzine & Olie © Gaia Son