Getting up on a wall usually requires preparation of some sort. Getting up on the wall in Palestine requires nerves of steel.
Shai Dahan working on his 6 meter high piece in Palestine (photo © David Freid)
Street Artist and fine artist Shai Dahan just returned from a trip to what some call the Holy Land to place a large portrait of a Jordanian Bedouin on the wall on the Palestinian side. Despite the checkpoints and soldiers in towers and the general atmosphere of hostility and suspicion that seems ever present, a non-political piece was welcomed by people in this war torn region, and locals greeted Dahan and his friend with coffees and teas all day. Kids who were watching the progress with great interest also gave them the “thumbs up” sign of approval, so they knew they were cool.
Shai Dahan created his piece based on this photography by David Freid (photo © David Freid)
Over the last decade this wall has drawn the attention of many international Street Artists like Brooklyn’s Faile, London’s Banksy, Ireland’s Conor Harrington, Italy’s Blu, and Paris’ JR, among others. Each has reported a sense of accomplishment after pulling this feat, and Dahan reports that many of those pieces still remain there. With his friend David Freid there to shoot a documentary and provide these photos, Dahan felt like it was a rare privilege and opportunity.
Shai Dahan “Miles to Go Before I Sleep” (photo © David Freid)
“The locals loved it and although the stress of entering an area full of conflict with zero security was great, it was a very special project and one of the highlights of my career. I got to enter a place filled with anger and frustration and paint there.”
Now back in Sweden, Shai is preparing for his show opening this Friday the 25th at the Modern Art Museum of Boras.