VLAD VANDAMME is a self-taught American-Belgian artist.
His cartoonish style finds its roots in his first foray into arts as a street artist, when he started as a graffiti artist painting the walls of downtown Portland, Oregon. He then moved to Los Angeles and started to experiment with acrylic painting on canvases, refining his style and honing his craft together with local street artists.
Although he calls himself apolitical, Vlads' works offer a vivid depiction of 21st century obsession with hedonism of North American and European urban-dwellers: the restless quest for money-grabbing, casual use of performance-enhancing and recreational drugs, self-medication, social pressure to always seem happy and active, ego-casting on social media, etc.
VLAD pays tribute to the forefathers of graffiti art when he cites Blek le rat's later works as well as more modern artists like Warhol, D-face, Alec Monopoly, which focus more on political, environmental and other social causes, as a major source of inspiration, both at the semantic and aesthetic levels. Invader, another European forefather of street art, with his extensive use of video game characters, is also a source of inspiration, as well as Keith Haring.
Some of the characters on his boldly colorful works are his own creations, while others are reimagined versions of icons of popular culture, such as characters from Disney.