During the nineties Matthijs started to document a part of modern-day youth culture he was, and still is, very passionate about: graffiti art. As a hobby photographer he created an impressive collection of thousands of pictures on the subject. It was in 1996 when he decided to publish this collection on the internet when he started the website www.dutchdamage.com .
To his surprise the website rapidly became one of the most successful ones on the subject of graffiti art worldwide. With over 15.000 daily unique visitors it didn’t take Matthijs too long to see the huge business potential this website had. An online shop specialized in art supplies was started, www.graffitishop.eu ,in cooperation with one of the leading distributors in art supplies in Europe. Intrigued by the almost overnight success of both these websites and the possibilities that new media seemed to have, Matthijs started a study Interactive Media at The Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences.
Interested to see what differences there would be in the use of new media and new technologies abroad, he spent a year in Austria where he studied Media Design at the Fachhochschule Vorarlberg, and did an internship in Finland, working in a company that creates mobile content and applications.
In the mean time Matthijs managed to publish two books about graffiti culture in the Netherlands and is now working on a third one. Furthermore he is involved with the publication of two Dutch graffiti magazines.
After receiving his bachelor degree in communication and multimedia design Matthijs was still eager to learn more about how new media change contemporary culture; he studied Media Culture at the University of Maastricht, a selective, one-year international Master of Arts programme where he did research on the use of social media in a museum context.
Matthijs is currently working for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He is responsible for the new (to be built) website of the museum, a job where he can perfectly combine his passion for arts & culture and new media.