'Amsterdam is a cat city pretending to be a dog' – a cartoon

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A dog city comes to you with its tail wagging, but cat cities like Amsterdam are more reticent and harder to judge, says artist Jan Rothuizen

My drawings are best described as written maps or graphic reportages. These pieces are from my book The Soft Atlas of Amsterdam. The title is a reference to Soft City, a book written in 1974 by British author Jonathan Raban. His idea is that the city is where the solid concrete reality of buildings and asphalt meets the malleable, subjective experience and expectation of the people who live and work there.

When I became an artist I discovered that the confined space of a studio was not for me. Walking around the city streets, meeting people was my way of being an artist. I visited many cities before I explored Amsterdam, the city in which I was born and raised.

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