Mirko Reisser (DAIM)
Mirko ‘DAIM’ Reisser is a German graffiti artist. Born in the northern German town of Lüneburg in 1971, Reisser has been a part of Hamburg’s graffiti scene from its tentative beginnings in the 1980s, when graffiti writing was still surrounded by a slightly illicit and disreputable aura, to the present day and its wide acceptance of graffiti in its many shapes as a legitimate art form.
Since his first piece in 1989 and commissioned work in 1990, Mirko Reisser’s art has appeared in various settings and forms all over the globe, from a canvas to a house façade of several hundred square meters, from illegal pieces on the streets of Hamburg to commissioned works and gallery exhibitions across the world.
Through the years, however, the content of Reisser’s pieces has always remained the same: the four letters of his adopted artist’s name: DAIM (less frequently: DEIM). While these four letters are the stable basis of his artistic work, their form has remained a constant area of exploration and change. For more than three decades, Reisser has challenged his audience with letters that defy traditionally held notions of readability in favour of a state of constant ambiguity and destabilization.
In addition to his work as a graffiti artist, Mirko Reisser has also taken up the mantle of an avid archivist of Hamburg’s graffiti history, safeguarding a treasure trove of original publications, images, and documents accessible only to somebody deeply rooted in the scene. At the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, this archive is now the object of a doctoral dissertation titled Graffiti: Ephemeral Inscriptions in Urban Space - Style Writing in Hamburg in the 1980s and 1990s.
To allow those who did not enjoy the good fortune of witnessing the fascinating history of Hamburg’s graffiti scene of the 1980’s and 1990’s first-hand, Reisser has joined forces with fellow scene veterans Oliver Nebel, Frank Petering, and Andreas Timm to publish Eine Stadt wird bunt (A city becomes colourful). The book includes a unique collection of photos and statements from graffiti writers who were active at the time as well as academic essays by renowned authors, presenting graffiti as a well-connected, subcultural phenomenon and offering information about the practice of appropriating public spaces. To learn more about the book, its publishers, the contributors, and the team behind it, follow this link.