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Run For Cover is one of our biggest points of sale in Copenhagen. What started as a hip-hop record distributor has become much more than just a graffiti shop. Jesper tells us the history of the store as well as all the activities that they are carrying out and the support they offer to the Danish graffiti scene, one of the most important in Europe.
Please introduce yourselves.
We are Denmark's largest graffiti and hiphop store located in Rødovre just outside of Copenhagen in Denmark. Our owner Torben is from Aalborg - more or less as far away from Copenhagen as you can get.
He started out distributing hip-hop records and later worked for smaller and larger record companies such as Voices Of Wonder and Sony Music and formed Run For Cover back in 2002 with one of his friends who left the company back in 2016.
Although he has never painted much (only drawing though) in his life graffiti has always been a big part and a huge part of the Danish hip-hop culture, and the walls in his home are covered in artwork from some of the most legendary Danish writers.
Tell us the story of the shop opening.
We actually started out as a record label releasing Danish hip-hop, but after a few years we started selling other people’s releases and then in 2006 when we opened our first store in Aarhus we also chose to sell markers and spray paint. And since then we have grown to have a 250 square meter store in Copenhagen with the largest selection of spray paint in Denmark - including the full color lineup of MTN94, Hardcore and Water Based and everything else you need for graff or your DIY projects.
What do you like about your neighbourhood?
As rent is extremely high in Copenhagen and we also are what could be called a niche-store, we are located in an industrial part of Rødovre, so there isn’t much else worth mentioning except from the local pizza place - Matador Pizza - and our resident mechanic. We have a pretty good relationship with our neighbors - although we are mostly somewhat undercover. One of our other neighbors is a treatment center for drug addicts.
How would you describe the community of artists that come through the shop?
It’s very varied. We have everything from the hardcore graffiti artists to people doing doodle or painting on rocks. We have a lot of awesome regular customers whose art we sell or who have designed our streetwear. We also have a lot of foreign writers - everything from crews going bombing to huge international artists doing large murals. We are for everyone, but since we are a graffiti shop we of course have a lot of them coming to the store.
Some of the artists we have worked with lately are writers like PAN!K, JUP, Nasty One, SWET, Toys Crew, Dune310, GREAT, Fony, Shew, Skems, Edes, Stick, Royes, ZORO and also more classic artists like Tue Volder, Rikke Severinsen, Nønken Art, Burnon, Peter Hvid Kromann and Anders Reventlov.
How is the graffiti scene in CPH?
The scene is really good! There are a lot of legends still bombing but also a lot of young upcomers. There’s both a lot of bombing, a lot of murals and a lot of street art as well. Unfortunately, there are not many legal spots.
There are very few exhibitions with graffiti. We have had some in the store and Freespace in Nørrebro do have some, but otherwise you don’t see many. We have Meeting Of Styles in Copenhagen, but there is not a straight up graffiti festival. For that you mostly have to go to Næstved, Kolding or other places outside the capital. The Copenhagen municipality really does not like graffiti and the only legal spots in Copenhagen are private places.
Some of the most famous active writers from Copenhagen are - with the risk of not mentioning someone important - SABE, PAN!K, Khal, BOMR, JUP and Rens and many of the others that we have worked with thought the years.
Which spots do you recommend to visitors for painting or checking out spray can art?
One of the best places will always be the legendary Danish S-Trains. So go to some of the stations. Otherwise for legal graffiti the best places are Bolsjefabrikken and Christiania and also the legal walls in Vanløse and Albertslund. As we mentioned there are not many galleries with graffiti, so you have to catch it on the streets or go to our store and check out all the artwork displayed or our tag wall.
What are some of the special or unusual products that you carry?
We have our own clothing line, where a lot of the local graffiti artists often do the designs. The last two ones were designed by PAN!K and Nasty One and we have one coming soon with one of the Danish kings of handstyle.
We also have made our own Graffiti Handbooks where you can learn how to write and have our own Graffiti Workshops where Dune310 teaches how to do graff. And then we sell a lot of artwork from both local and international artists and we do a lot of our own stickers. We also recently did slipmats with designs by Nasty One and GREAT.
And of course we sell all the limited edition cans from Montana Colors and right now one of our most popular products are the new MTN Street Dabbers.
What do you think about the new MTN Systems model of the famous S-Train from Copenhagen?
We are really excited about it. We have been hoping it would happen for a long time and know that people will love them. We will also have to have some painted for ourselves ;) It’s a legendary train - also outside of Denmark!
Do you offer anything else aside from art supplies?
We also sell hip-hop on vinyl. We always have around 1000+ records in stock and also release our own vinyls. And then we sell clothes such as Starter, New Era, Wu-Wear, Stance, Urban Classics, Ecko Unltd, Rocawear, etc. and graffiti wear from Montana Colors among others - although some of it is only online.
We also sell books, original paintings, collectables, action figures, headphones, and everything hip-hop.
As we mentioned we also do our Graffiti Workshops and we also do in-store concerts and hiphop jams at other venues, have our own podcast, do interviews with Danish graffiti writers and street artists and support a lot of different Danish graffiti festivals.
Do you have any unusual/funny stories or anecdotes from your experiences of running a graffiti store?
We have had a lot of local and international artists come by. It is always an honor, but we don’t like to tell tales. That’s up to the writers in our interviews to do for themselves…
ShareNovember 15, 2022CategoriesCategories