Eelco Van den Berg
Photographed by Paolo Massimo Testa
Produced & Written by Choi David
A notepad was being passed around. The Arrogant Swine’s outdoor picnic tables were surrounded by artists each waiting their turn to take their sketches to the pad. I was in the middle of it; not as an artist, but as an observer. The dude sitting next to me, frantically sketching geometrical shaped animals, was Eelco van den Berg, aka Virus. He was probably the only one from the Bushwick Collective gathering that was an out of towner, coming all the way from Amsterdam.
That was last year. The Bushwick Collective had finished painting murals in the neighbourhood, and I was lucky enough that Pyramid Oracle had invited me to the celebration. It was fascinating to see the faces and to meet the personalities behind the murals I walked by everyday. Joseph Ficalora, the founder of the Collective was also there, although to my regret, we weren’t properly introduced. The night had a cool vibe; it was the opening day of the Swine, chill street artists shared their thoughts and positive emotions, and of course there were beers, lots of it.
After the Bushwick Collective party, Virus and I ran into each other a few more times in the City. From my understanding, he was flying back and forth from Europe, painting and doing shows. These portraits were taken during his visit when he had a pop-up show in Chelsea, and I literally hassled him to come by for a session with Paolo Testa. Virus came in, and Paolo did his thing.
A couple months later, I ran into Virus during Bushwick Open Studios. And I think Paolo will soon start seeing him around, too.