All posts tagged: Yoav Litvin

Bogotá : A Liberal Approach To Art Creates Exceptional Street Culture

Bogotá : A Liberal Approach To Art Creates Exceptional Street Culture

Thanks to a globalism of culture, many cities around the world have sprouted vibrant Street Art scenes – including today’s focus, Bogotá, Columbia. Far more open to expression than many cities, Bogotá has become a tolerant and welcoming place for artists on public walls, with the mayor actually agreeing and decreeing that graffiti and street art are a form of valued artistic expression, as long as you lay off the statues and City Hall. The government even gives grants for some painting, and political and social protest on walls goes a little further than you might expect. As part of a personal tour of Columbia in the last couple of months, occasional BSA contributor Yoav Litvin travelled to Bogotá and met a couple of artists who told him about the scene there.
 
 
by Yoav Litvin

We arrived at the Bogotá airport in the evening. For convenience sake, we took a cab from the airport to our accommodation in the heart of La Candelaria, an area of town known for its museums, beautiful architecture and street art. I knew Bogotá was going to be as special as far as its street art scene. I just did not know yet how incredible it was going to be.

My introduction to Bogotá street art and graffiti was the highway from the airport into town, aka Calle 26—it was completely BOMBED. When I say bombed I mean there was not a single space free of art on the walls or tunnels of the highway for miles on end. The beautiful graffiti and street art along with countless tags adorning the walls made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Immediately I knew Bogotá was going to be special, a heaven for street art and graffiti.

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Stink Fish. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

During my visit I was fortunate to meet two very active local artists: DJ LU (aka Juegasiempre), otherwise known as the “Bogotá Banksy” and CRISP, an Aussie transplant that has made the city his home. They were courteous and answered some of my questions.

Yoav Litvin: What makes the street art and graffiti scene so unique in Bogotá? Please discuss the political background in Bogotá in particular and Colombia in general and some policies (legality etc.) that influence the great diversity of work on the streets. What’s special here?
DJ LU: Bogotá’s treasure is its diversity, in every sense. It has very eclectic architecture, interesting places, and is extremely multiracial. Urban expressions are not the exception; here you can find murals, tagging, hip hop graffiti, paste ups, stickers, characters, lettering and stencil work among others. Bogotá is an ideal playground for public expression. First of all, its urban structure is patchy making it ideally suited as far as context; there are many residual spaces, remnants of highway constructions, parking lots and abandoned structures.

Second, the legislation is tolerant, so unless you are engaged in a very clear act of vandalism you won’t have a problem with the law. Residents are also becoming familiar with the practice so there is tolerance from the local population.

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Toxicomano . Unknown .  DJ LU .  Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

CRISP: Bogotá is one of the most exciting, underrated and prolific urban art scenes on the planet. This is due to a combination of several factors, which have created a melting pot of creativity and expression. Firstly, there is a long history of civil unrest, inequality and injustices in Colombia that make street art and graffiti a potent form of expression and protest for the people.

It actually has the longest running civil war in the world, over half a century of bloodshed!

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Toxicomano . DJ LU . Lesivo . Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Secondly, it has a very tolerant legal approach to urban art compared to most other cities in the world. It’s not technically illegal but “prohibited”, which provides a unique situation where grafiteros can take their time and paint in broad daylight. That said, an artist still needs to be cautious of police depending on the type of street art you are doing and due to police history of brutality.

Thirdly, Colombia has a rich resource of inspiration: its people, music, food, indigenous cultures, animals and plants from the Pacific, Andes, Amazon and Caribbean! This complex mix of factors makes Bogotá’s urban art scene truly unique.

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DJ LU Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: What motivates you in your work? Please discuss how your work is an expression of your development within the scene in Bogota.
DJ LU: My work is motivated by reality. I’m interested in making people aware–through art–of lots of situations that affect us as a society. The first project I started with on the street is the Pictogram project. It is based on semiotics and sign language. As it proposes very simple designs it is intended to relay a message immediately. In this project I have designed more than 60 pictograms that I have put up all over Bogotá and many other cities around the world in stencil form, stickers and paste ups.

Afterwards came the Street Pride project in which I took photographs of anonymous people whose appearance I found aesthetically interesting and who were interacting with the public space and I used them as models for my work. I believe that advertisements and the media in general are fabricating idols for the people to follow and to speed up consumerism. I want to make the invisible visible, to bring attention to anonymous people who construct our street culture.

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 Crisp. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

CRISP: I’ve always expressed myself through art from a very young age. In terms of street art I was a late bloomer. Despite an interest and curiosity in urban art, It was only when I came to Bogota that I truly became a street artist! I met grafitero friends here who encouraged me to put my artwork up in the street. Street art has shown me that it’s important that our public spaces aren’t controlled and dictated solely by councils, corporations, marketing companies, and formal art institutes.

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Toxicomano. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin:  How do you see the future of street art and graffiti in Bogota?
DJ LU: I believe that the progress of street art and graffiti is determined by a lot of factors: legal issues, trends, politics and economics. Graffiti and street art are trendy now in Bogotá, and this will most likely decrease. At that point only the ones that are doing it for real will keep working outside.

CRISP: The huge changes I’ve witnessed since 2001 through 2008 until the present are phenomenal. Bogota’s urban art has exploded in terms of quality and quantity. Everywhere you look, walk and drive, you see some form of creativity and expression on nearly every block in the city!

Mostly it is grass roots, passion-driven and totally devoid of the more corporate, council and gallery-organized and funded “street art” you see in many other cities in the world. In the near future I see many talented Colombian artists finally getting the recognition, support and ability to share their work with a wider international audience they deserve. Ironically this point isn’t important to many grafiteros here.

It’s the way of life, the friends, the culture, pure expression, fun, connecting with the public and the happiness this connection with the street brings that’s most important! In the future Bogota will be known as an urban art mecca but for all the right reasons!

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Lesivo. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Guache. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Stinkfish. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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APC . Stinkfish . FCO . Temor. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Praxis. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Frank Salvador . Sur Beat. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Bastardilla wheatpaste afloat beneath a handful of dripping tags. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Bastardilla. Detail. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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El Pez. Bogota, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Sneak Peek “Concrete to Data” at Steinberg Museum

Curator and artist Ryan Seslow has pulled off an overview of art on the streets and the practices employed, minus the drama. So much discussion of graffiti, Street Art, and public art practice can concentrate on lore and turf war, intersections with illegality, the nature of the “scene”, shades of xenophobia and class structures; all crucial for one’s understanding from a sociological/anthropological perspective.

“Concrete to Data”, opening this week at the Steinberg Museum of Art on Long Island, gives more of the spotlight to the historical methods and media that are used to disseminate a message, attempting to forecast about future ways of communicating that may effectively bridge the gap between the physical and the virtual.

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Joe Iurato. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Seslow has assembled an impressive cross section of artists, practitioners, photographers, academics, theorists, and street culture observers over a five-decade span. Rather than overreaching to exhaustion, it can give a representative overview of how each are adding to this conversation, quickly presenting this genre’s complexity by primarily discussing its methods alone.

Here is a sneak peek of the the concrete (now transmitted digitally); a few of the pieces for the group exhibition that have gone up in the last week in the museum as the show is being installed.

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Chris Stain. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink at work on her mural. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Fekner. Detail of his stencils in place and ready to be sprayed on. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Henry Chalfant. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Billy Mode. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Oyama Enrico. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Col Wallnuts. Detail. Concrete To Data. Steinberg Museum of Art. LIU (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

CONCRETE to DATA will be exhibited at the Steinberg Museum of Art, Brookville, NY January 26th 2015 – March 21st 2015.

Opening Reception – Friday, February 6th  2015 6PM -9 PM 

Follow the news and events via – http://concretetodata.com

Follow @concretetodata on Instagram – #concretetodata

Curated by Ryan Seslow@ryanseslow

Museum Director – Barbara Appelgate

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Community Murals and the Violent History of Comuna 13 in Medellin

Community Murals and the Violent History of Comuna 13 in Medellin

Despite the rise of the so-called Street Art scene of the last couple of decades, the more familiar form of this kind of expression for most people is the community mural. This outward expression of a neighborhood or cities aspirations and history can have an important impact on the residents, fostering a sense of shared culture and values and, in the case of memorial walls, grief. This winter author, street art fan, and occasional BSA contributor Yoav Litvin travelled to Medellin, Colombia, where he toured a neighborhood traumatized by crime and saw how murals by local artists and government-sponsored paint can affect every day life in a community.
 
by Yoav Litvin

San Javier, aka “Comuna 13”, is considered the most dangerous, crime-ridden district in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia. It has been plagued by violence at the hands of drug cartels, local gangs, guerillas and paramilitary groups all of whom seek control of its strategic location as a crossroads of illegal goods coming into and out of Medellín, and thus Colombia as a whole. In 2010, the neighborhood saw 162 murders for every 100,000 people, an astonishing 10 percent of all homicides in the city.

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Comuna 13. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Traveling through Medellín, I was intrigued to hear from a local art lover of a street art and graffiti project at Comuna 13 aimed at bringing art, education and peace to this embattled community. Using art as an instrument for the promotion of peace has a bloody history in Comuna 13, where 10 hip-hop artists were murdered as they tried to endorse an end to violence.

Determined to see the project for myself, I sought a local guide who would agree to take me there. I was surprised to discover that there was a company that organizes tours of Comuna 13 and the next morning at 10 a.m. I met Juan Manuel, a friendly local resident who is bilingual and co-founder of “Discover Medellín”.

For a couple of hours we walked together through the streets of Comuna 13, taking in all the beautiful art that is part of the “Medellín is painted for life” project. Throughout the tour the very knowledgeable Juan educated me on the local government’s efforts to revitalize the community at San Javier, including the installation of an escalator system aimed at helping residents get to and from work, free house paint for residents in a variety of colors and investment in the construction of nearby libraries that would cater to the communities largely younger population, steering them away from crime. According to Juan, these investments have led to a dramatic reduction in violence and a transformation of Comuna 13.

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Chota. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

I had the opportunity to ask Juan Manuel about these changes at Comuna 13 with a focus on the role of street art:

YL: What is the role of art in Comuna 13?
JM: Art serves multiple purposes. It allows local artists to share their passion for art with the local community. It’s a positive influence for younger troubled kids who have limited opportunities in Colombia. Many are discriminated against solely because of the notorious barrio they live in. The public art also serves as a historical record with many of the murals documenting Medellín’s violent past. Recently, several home-owners along the tour have approached me with an invitation to paint a mural on their walls to help improve the reputation of their community.

YL: How has the government promoted the art and artists in Medellín?
JM: The local government has been actively involved in the recruitment of artists to paint murals in Comuna 13 as well as various other locations across the city. The legal walls have been a big hit with local artists who are eager to create and share their passion with the rest of the city. The local government continues to actively search for new areas throughout the city for displaying public art. In addition, the local government has sponsored artists by providing them with the monetary funds to complete various projects throughout the city.

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Artist Unknon. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

YL: Do you believe the art has a positive role in affecting crime levels in Medellín? How?
JM: Yes. Walking tours like this would not be possible without the drastic changes in the community.  A few years ago, violence was a daily occurrence in the community. But after the local government invested millions of dollars in paint for local residents and allowed local artists to paint murals throughout Comuna 13, safety in the area has greatly improved. These acts have given many long-term residents faith in local politicians who risked political backlash. Locals now see more and more interest in their community from the government, businesses, residents from other parts of Medellín and a few foreigners like you who are eager to explore the transformation of Comuna 13.

YL: What are your plans for the future?
JM: Together with my partner Arthur, we are currently in the process of securing funding for an art project in Comuna 13. The goal is to invite artists from around the world to paint inspirational art projects aimed at promoting the community.

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Paola Delfin. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

After our tour I returned to my hostel and told my hostess of my experience. She was horrified to learn that I visited Comuna 13 and told me that the only reason I was left unharmed was because I had the obvious look of a foreigner: “Me and my friends never go there. If you look local or Latino in general, you are stopped, questioned, or worse… They are always suspicious of young men who may be from a rival gang.” she said.

Most of the street art and graffiti in Comuna 13 was made by kids or young people that received graffiti classes in Casa Kolacho or Casa Morada, by social entities which work with young people in some parts of this big infamously violent community.

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Senor OK . Grena Cru. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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REK. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Bomba . Kone. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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El Pole. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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DEXS. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Javid Jah. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Kone . AXND. Medellin, Colombia. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

 

Our thanks to Yoav for his contribution and for sharing his trip and observations with BSA readers.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Dede Discusses New Site-Specific Stencil Series In Tel Aviv

Dede Discusses New Site-Specific Stencil Series In Tel Aviv

“Site-specific” is a term employed by some Street Art conceptualists often today, but the relevance of location to the piece on the street may not be as clear to the viewer as the artist would have intended even when it is the product of a high-minded process for selection. This is not the case in Tel Aviv where Street Artist Dede is taking “site-specific” quite seriously in a new series of pieces where a stenciled view of a city scene appears precisely where this view can also be observed with the bare eye.  By producing this visual double-take, the location and stencil placement instantly invoke a closer examination and consideration of just what is being called into view, and perhaps to ask why.

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

It could be a scene you otherwise would have overlooked, but somehow now it is elevated by the fact that the artist has taken the effort to cut and spray a stencil here and probably did so with purpose. It’s a highly effective method of sharpening our focus and we’re glad that it has brought Yoav Litvin to BSA today to share his recent interview with Dede about the series as well as to discuss his views on life in Israel during this time of intensified conflict with Palestine. Yoav also shares his photos from these new site-specific installations as well as other examples of the artists’ stylistically eclectic offerings.

 

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Belonging, Territoriality and Healing in Israel: An interview with Dede

by Yoav Litvin
 

Whenever I visit a city, I try to dedicate time to venturing on the streets in search of art as a way of assessing the local and current creative vibe. By chance, I was in Israel when the most recent violent conflict erupted between the Israeli army (the IDF) and Hamas in the Gaza strip. During my two-week long visit there, I spent countless hours arguing against violence and for peace and reconciliation; against the powerful interest groups and for the people.

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Dede. Close up. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Together with Dede, a local street artist, I walked through various neighborhoods in Tel Aviv in search of art. Seeing the beautiful and at times chaotically colorful walls, I once again felt the positive and potentially healing power of art, even more so in this dire context of war. I have always believed street art can represent a creative, non-violent form of rebellion. It can serve to challenge the powerful, the violent and the selfish and offer an unfiltered, free and raw voice- from the people to the people! As composer and playwright Jonathan Larson epitomized in his famous quote: “The opposite of war is not peace… it’s creation!”

Here I talk with Dede about his current series of site-specific stencils, and how these may reflect some of the realities in this troubled town and part of the world. Additionally we see his most recent large-scale murals, which revolve around relevant issues of belonging, displacement and escape.

Yoav Litvin: What’s your thought process behind these site-specific installations?
Dede: I began this ongoing site-specific series of stencils at the end of 2013. It stems from many thoughts/ideas on technique and the ways in which we are exposed to street art today. Importantly, I was very much influenced by a text written by the cultural critic Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction and its ramifications on our modern way of life.

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: Why did you choose the locations you did?
Dede: Every location has its own reasons, each attempting to focus attention on an important issue within our modern urban reality. These include the housing crisis in Israel, urban development and restoration of historical landmarks/buildings.

Yoav Litvin: There is a long-standing conflict surrounding territory in Israel. Do your site-specific installations address it? How?
Dede: There is always conflict on territory/resources, perhaps everywhere in the world but I see it clearly here in Tel Aviv. Just like in any capitalist society, real estate here is bought and sold in accordance with personal interests and therefore can be controversial in a community. For example- see my stencil of the tower that was built in Neve Tzedek in Tel Aviv (below). The rest of the neighborhood is only two stories high and many residents were against the construction of such a tall building- there were petitions and protests but eventually those with money won out. Land is expensive and Tel Aviv is prime real estate in Israel. There is a constant increase in housing prices and this is making Tel Aviv a city exclusively for the wealthy.

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 Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: I had a lot of fun shooting these stencil installations, trying to capture the art together with its subject. Are you trying to create a dialog between artist and documenter? How do you view street art documenters within the scene, especially with the central role of the Internet, social media and photo sharing?
Dede: Documentation is extremely important for street art, because of this art form’s inherently ephemeral nature. However, seeing a photograph can never replace the feeling of standing in front of a piece and personally experiencing it. Documentation conveys the idea as best as possible without experiencing it first hand. In this series of stencils, documentation is a central theme.

Stencils are regularly cut based on photographs, and this series was sprayed at the location the pictures were taken. Thus, the photographer has a central role in capturing both subject and the art it conveys. My notion was to challenge the documenter and in turn, the viewer of the photo. This work was intended for an audience that relies on social networks for its street art consumption.

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: How has your art evolved since last we spoke? Is it becoming more personal or do you feel you are reaching out to the public with relevant issues to the community?
Dede: This is a question I ask myself all the time. Honestly, I cannot really say what has changed in my art. I let my art lead me, and do not try to lead it. I feel I am trying to evolve in both realms you mention, focusing on my personal style, but also my interaction with the community, both locally and globally.

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: I find street art to be an excellent device for an artist to communicate with the surrounding communities. Do you try to appeal to a strictly Israeli audience in Tel Aviv? How do you engage the Palestinian  population, for example in neighboring Jaffa?
Dede: Street art engages everyone everywhere, especially today in the age of the internet. As an artist in Tel Aviv, Israel, I am aware that my art reaches Palestinians as well as Israelis. In fact, I often correspond with Palestinian artists, and am pleased when they enjoy, interested and/or are emotionally touched by my work. I feel my work is a personal reflection that appeals to people everywhere, not just Israelis, Palestinians or any other category of people.

I love painting in Jaffa, and during your last visit we walked through an abandoned building in Jaffa in which I and friends painted. Local residents are very positive and appreciate street art. I wish art could bridge all gaps between peoples here and everywhere.

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dede. Jaffa as seen from Tel Aviv. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: One cannot discuss Israel today without addressing the current violence. Has it affected your art? How so?
Dede: The situation here is very complicated and disturbing. It is a conflict that has been going on for years. This conflict has affected my art and inspired me to create in many ways. I love Tel Aviv, but during wars it is a difficult place to live in. One of the central themes in my works is the need to escape to a safer place, whether in the physical or emotional realm. This stems from different motivations; mental, social and political. I do not believe any citizen should live in a state of fear anywhere, and my art conveys these notions.

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Dede and Latzi collaboration. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dede’s studio. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Interview written, edited and translated by Yoav Litvin. Mr. Litvin is the author and photographer of the recently published book Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Gingko Press.

For more information regarding Yoav Litvin click HERE. For more information regarding Dede, click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC

“Outdoor Gallery” Surveys Current Street Art Scene in NYC

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin

The outdoor gallery is the one we visit most and NYC is always front and center in our heart even as we branched out to about 100 other cities and towns last year.  Outdoor Gallery – New York City is also the name of the brand new book by photographer and writer Yoav Litvin, who has spent the last couple of years shooting New York streets and meeting many of the artists who make the painting and wheat pasting that characterizes the class of 2014.

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Chris Stain.

Published by Ginko Press, the large 235 page hardcover features nearly 50 street artists / graffiti artists whose work you see here regularly (with the exception of two or three) along with comments and observations from the artists about their practice, their experiences, and the current Street Art scene primarily in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

When Yoav told us of his hope to publish a book last year we offered whatever advice we could – but primarily we advised him to stick to his vision and not to let anyone discourage him. A true fan of the scene, he has worked tirelessly to do just that and now he can share with you a personal survey and record of many of the artists who are getting up today in New York.

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Outdoor Gallery. New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Joe Iurato.

Outdoor Gallery – New York City grew organically to embody my process of exploration and discovery on the streets of New York City. It is a creation that was born out of love for New York City streets and their people, and focuses on artists as leaders with a unique and necessary role in a society that aspires for freedom and change,” says Litvin in his introduction, and throughout the book you can sense the respect he has for the art and the dedication he has put into this project.

Careful to let the artists speak for themselves, he presents their work without commentary and with ample space given for expression. Using primarily his own photos, it is carefully edited and presented as an uncluttered and measured overview of each artists work.

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Jilly Ballistic.

For us it is a proud moment to see someone’s dream realized after so much effort and dogged determination – especially in a scene whose challenges we are well familiar with.  No one knows how hard it is to make something happen unless they do it themselves. So congratulations to Yoav for sticking to his vision and having the fortitude to finish this and thanks to him on the behalf of the artists whom he is helping to receive recognition for their work as well.

To that end, you are invited to the big launch party this Saturday at 17 Frost in Williamsburg. We’ll be there and we hope you can make it out for a great New York Street Art family reunion. You can’t miss the entrance, it’s been newly smashed by El Sol 25, Bishop 203, Royce and some other people we can’t remember right now but who will remind us as soon as this goes up ; ) .

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Gilf!

You can find out more about it on the Facebook Event Page, but we understand there will be a newly debuted video from Dega Films, a special tribute to Army of One, and a full show of new works from many of the artists in the book, including;

Adam Dare, Alice Mizrachi, Army of One / JC2, Astrodub, ASVP, Billy Mode, Bisho203, Bunny M, Cern, Chris RWK, Chris Stain, Cope2, Dain, Dirty Bandits, El Sol 25, Elle Deadsex, Enzo and Nio, Free5, Fumero, Gaia, Gilf!, Hellbent, Icy and Sot, Indie 184, Jilly Ballistic, Joe Iurato, Kram, Lillian Lorraine, LNY (Lunar New Year), Miyok, ND’A, OCMC, OverUnder, Phetus88, QRST, Russell King, Shin Shin, Shiro, Sofia Maldonaldo, The Yok, Toofly, and Veng RWK.

 

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Icy & Sot.

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by Hellbent.

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Art by QRST.

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Outdoor Gallery – New York City by Yoav Litvin. Front and back cover art by Bishop203, LNY, Alice Mizrachi, QRST, Gilf!, Cern and Icy & Sot.

Below is a look at behind-the-scenes of the making of the mural for the cover of the book.

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Bishop 203. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Icy & Sot balancing a stencil. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Taking a step back to assess the progress. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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The final piece. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Outdoor Gallery – New York City will be launched in conjunction with an art exhibition this Saturday, February 22nd at 17 Frost Art Space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Click HERE for more details.

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
 
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Images Of The Week: 01.05.14

Images Of The Week: 01.05.14

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2014

It’s been weeks since we had an “Images of the Week” posting with you, due to the end of the year spectacular we presented  for 13 days; a solid cross section of the talented photographers who are documenting this important moment before it passes.

As a collection 13 From 2013 exemplified the unique and eclectic character of Street Art and graffiti photography today. Each person contributed a favorite image and along with it their insight and observations, often personal, very individual, and with a real sense of authenticity. Each day we were sincerely grateful for their contributions to BSA readers and to see the street through their eyes.

Thank you again to Yoav Litvin, Ray Mock, Brock Brake, Martha Cooper, Luna Park, Geoff Hargadon, Jessica Stewart, Jim Kiernan, Bob Anderson, Ryan Oakes, Daniel Albanese, James Prigoff, and Spencer Elzey for 13 from 2013. Also if you missed it, that list kicked off just after our own 2013 BSA Year in Images (and video) were published here and on Huffington Post, all of which was also a great honor to share with you.

And so we bring back to you some documentation of moments before they passed – our weekly interview with the street, this week including $howta, Appleton Pictures, ASVP, BAMN, Chase, Dceve, Doce Freire, EpicUno, Hot Tea, Jerkface, Judith Supine, Leadbelly33, LoveMe, Meres, Olek, Rambo, Ramiro Davaro-Comas, Square, and Swoon.

This weeks top image is a reprieve from the winter we’ve been enduring – a small hand cut frog clinging to a verdant fern – created by Swoon and snapped during a visit to her studio over the holidays. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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EpicUno (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Rambo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leadbelly33 (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LoveMe (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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BAMN (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Judith Supine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ASVP and Square (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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$howta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JerkFace (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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HotTea (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Olek’s very latest piece completed on New Year’s Eve in Vancouver, Canada.  (photo © Olek)

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Olek. “Kiss the Future” detail. (photo © Olek)

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Meres has a message for Gerry. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Meres (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chase (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Doce Freire in Sharjah City, UAE for the Al Qasba Festival. (photo © Doce Freire)

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Dceve (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Appleton Pictures (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ramiro Davaro-Comas (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Manhattan, December 2013. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

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13 from 2013 : Yoav Litvin “Jury Duty”

13 from 2013 : Yoav Litvin “Jury Duty”

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Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image from a Street Art or graffiti photographer that brings a story, a remembrance, an insight or a bit of inspiration to the person who took it. For the last 13 days they will share a gem with all of us as we collectively say goodbye and thank you to ’13.

December-19

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Today Yoav Litvin shares a New York moment he caught in 2013 that can happen to you sometimes in this Street Art and fashion capital, and tells us what he was thinking when he caught it.

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Dain in Tribeca, Manhattan, NYC 2013. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

“Jury Duty”

I was on jury duty in downtown Manhattan. It was lunch break but I wasn’t hungry, so I decided to walk around and hunt for art. I knew I was in prime street art territory and like some bloodhound, I trusted my street art “nose” to lead me in the direction of some cool pieces.

After crisscrossing several blocks with no luck, I ducked through an alley and noticed in the corner of my eye a speck of color on the base of a streetlamp that seemed out of place. Shifting my gaze, I immediately recognized that it was a wheatpaste by Dain, an artist I’d grown to admire.

Upon approaching the paste I saw in the distance an ongoing model shoot. Camera in hand, a photographer was standing, crouching, sitting, and lying on the street, continuously taking pictures, obviously searching for the best shot. Directly facing him a model was skipping around, laughing, swinging her handbag, moving to the left, then to the right and occasionally stopping dramatically to face him. Their movements were smooth, natural and flirtatious and I marveled at the site: it was beautiful, charming and intimate. Smiling, I redirected my attention back to Dain’s piece. I felt a new kinship toward the beautifully collaged lady and realized we shared a very intimate moment. Right then and there, she was my model, muse and inspiration and I had to find the shot that reflected her in all her beauty.

I kneeled, took the shot and with a big smile headed back to jury duty.

~Yoav Litvin

 

Artist: DAIN
Location: Manhattan, New York. 2013

 

 

#13from2013

Check out our Brooklyn Street Art 2013 Images of the Year by Jaime Rojo here.

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Street Art in Honolulu as Pow! Wow! Hawaii Enters Fifth Year

Street Art in Honolulu as Pow! Wow! Hawaii Enters Fifth Year

Before the year wraps we wanted to take a look at images from Pow! Wow! Hawaii as it enters its fifth year with a collection of images recently captured in Honolulu where it happens.

Begun by founder Jasper Wong in Hong Kong, Pow! Wow! Hawaii is a non-profit gathering in his hometown that he co-produces with another artist named Kamea Hadar. In a promo video for the festival Wong says that the festival is about “beautifying a neighborhood, changing a neighborhood through art”.

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Rone and Wonder spell it out in their largest collaboration to date. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

A criticism of street art festivals often leveled has been that the stars of the international circuit overpower the local tastes or are somehow insensitive to them, and the hip doesn’t always respect the homegrown.

Pow! Wow! Hawaii steadily avoids that criticism by including local community throughout open participatory events and it makes sure to include artists who work with traditional motifs and values in their pieces, bringing indigenous cultures into the mix in a meaningful way.

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Woes, Meggs, Peap, Tarr, Mr. Jago and Will Barras (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Since the rich pop colors of the modern age are also the visual lengua materna for these Street Artists and graffiti artists, it is common to see figures and patterns from the past updated with punch. The waterside commercial neighborhood along the southern shores of the island of Oʻahu is called Kaka’ako and the name itself has inspired some of the artists to include it in their pieces.

Recently photographer Yoav Litvin took a trip to the neighborhood where Pow! Wow! takes place and we bring you some of the images from Honolulu to get a taste the work that has been left there by an estimated 100 artists since 2010.

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Faith 47 (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Askew pays tribute to the Tuhoe Iwi and references the time of the Treaty of Waitangi (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Nychos and Jeff Soto (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Scribe (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Roids and Madsteez punch up the color when paying tribute to King Kalakua. (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Dal East (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Ekundayo (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Kamea Hadar and Rone (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Eddie Colla (photo © Yoav Litvin)

From the website:

“Centered around a week-long event in Hawaii, POW! WOW! has grown into a global network of artists and organizes gallery shows, lecture series, schools for art and music, mural projects, a large creative space named Lana Lane Studios, concerts, and live art installations across the globe. The central event takes place during Valentine’s Day week in February in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, and brings over a hundred international and local artist together to create murals and other forms of art.”

For more about Pow! Wow! Hawaii click HERE

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!
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The New Face of Tel Aviv Street Art

The New Face of Tel Aviv Street Art

As more cities join the world Street Art scene, thanks largely to an enthusiastic youth culture sharing images across the Internet and handheld devices, you see new artists popping up on the street almost daily. While there certainly is a developing global visual vocabulary on walls that is influenced by high profile international stars, you will still hear the local voice steering the Street Art conversation as well.

For Tel Aviv, known by many as a vibrant party city that never sleeps, the interest in Street Art has been high and there has been a blooming scene in the last five years that mimics some of those international styles even as it clearly is developing it’s own local aesthetic.

Klone . Latzi (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Today we feature new images from local artists in Tel Aviv by a photographer and scientist from New York who lived for a while in this city on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline. An urban wanderer who pokes through fences, over walls, and along small  streets on the hunt for what’s new, Yoav Litvin says he “views the urban environment as the perfect melting pot between humanity and nature, history and modernity, life and death.” We talked to him about his recent explorations in the city and asked him to talk about his observations in this snapshot of a growing scene.

Brookyn Street Art: What captured your attention about the Street Art scene in Tel Aviv?
Yoav Litvin: It’s in your face! While walking in Tel Aviv, especially the city’s southern parts, it was impossible to ignore; very diverse and colorful Street Art and graffiti are everywhere.

035 Crew (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Brookyn Street Art: Many of these shots are in abandoned buildings. For some photographers it is like an adventure discovering these sorts of spaces covered with art. What is it like for you?
Yoav Litvin: There’s a lot of character in abandoned buildings; the crumbling walls, the colors, the decay, the piles of rubble, the scattered tools or buckets of paint, the puddles of water, the beautiful imperfections. Every new space one discovers is surprising. You can sense a life history of an abandoned building, now turned bare skeleton. It’s cozy in that sense, it is accepting, non judgmental and unpretentious. On the other hand, it keeps you on your toes with its broken stairs, sharp edges, crumbling floors, stinking trash, used needles and even an occasional inhabitant who surprises you. I find that art works beautifully in such settings, blending and mutually complementing the cracking paint and occasional crevice.

As a photographer I find that abandoned buildings are fun spaces to play with light and composition. Most of these buildings have broken windows and doors, if any, letting in light that breaks, angles and reflects in a symphony of colors, lights and shadows.

Sboy . Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Brookyn Street Art: Most large cities have a certain amount of work on the street from international artists with a higher profile. What made you concentrate on just the locals?
Yoav Litvin: I love seeing work produced by internationally well-known artists. But I find that when I walk the streets of any town, I particularly enjoy seeking art that is new and fresh to my eyes, art produced by local artists that are not as well known, many of them incredible talents that have just not had their international breakthrough. As a past inhabitant of Tel Aviv, I especially wanted to pay tribute to the local scene, artists who by nature integrate their city into their art, and their art into their city.

Wonky Monky (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Brookyn Street Art: Street Art can be a good barometer of public tastes and a reflection of the culture that it is part of. Is there anything distinctly Israeli about the work you see represented, whether thematically or stylistically?
Yoav Litvin: From my recent short visit to Tel Aviv, I noticed great diversity in both styles and mediums used. I also noticed graff and street art ranging from simple tags any kid can do, to beautiful murals and elaborate pastes. As far as distinct content, I did notice some politically oriented street art that directly addressed internal Israeli corruption, the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories and some social issues.

Other than that, I can’t say I noticed something distinctly Israeli as far as style, but I do blame that on the shortness of my visit- With more time actually spent there, maybe I would be able to pick that up. It’s clear though that just like any urban artists in today’s interconnected world, both their local scene and other artists worldwide influence Tel Aviv-based artists.

Brookyn Street Art: What is your favorite kind of shot as a photographer and when do you know you captured it?
Yoav Litvin: My favorite shot is when I spot something beautiful in good light, and can frame it perfectly so that it somehow relates to its environment in an interesting way. If it includes an opportunity to capture a particularly beautiful instant in time, that’s especially rewarding. When I snap such a shot, I usually just know it.

Raez (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Know Hope . Korse (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Klone . 035 Crew (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Gidi (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede . Dioz . Ros Plazma (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede . Latzi (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dioz . Untay (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dioz . Wonky Monky (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Ros Plazma (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Ros Plazma (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Ros Plazma (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Ros Plazma (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Klone (photo © Yoav Litvin)

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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This article also appears on The Huffington Post

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Tel Aviv Street Artist Dede Talks About His City and His Work

Today on BSA we have a special guest contributor, Yoav Litvin, who is an avid photographer of Street Art and someone who has a true interest in the artists, their stories, and how they create their work for the street. Today Yoav brings us to Tel Aviv, Israel to meet a local artist on the scene there whose style continues to evolve across walls of the city. In the interview Dede tells us about the vibe of Tel Aviv, his journey as an artist, his process, how he sees his work critically in the public sphere and how Street Art can intersect with the political and personal.
 

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Interview with Dede

Conducted, translated and edited by Yoav Litvin

Yoav Litvin: What is the significance of art in the streets?
Dede:
For me, street art began as simply a form that was just there. Over time, it gained more and more significance and has become the central and primary form in which I work. Street art is challenging, surprising, dynamic, honest, exposed and always interesting.

Within the urban space I get the most inspiration and drive to create and produce a dialogue with the surroundings and the passersby. On the walls of Tel Aviv, I can initiate democratic and free debates and express my opinions without the meddling or intervention of a curator or gallery. Above all it is a place that enables me to declare my being in the present, and allows me to take part in creating the dynamic urban texture.

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: How are the current forms of street art a sign of our time?
Dede:
In the reality in which we live, street art has new life. In the past, pedestrians would walk the streets and be exposed, via the urban bustle, to information and art. Today people spend more time sitting in front of the computer than walking the streets. With the current culture of sharing and social networks, we can feel as though we are wandering the streets without really leaving home; one can be exposed to street art that is currently produced on the other side of the planet!

This opens up new possibilities, spaces, concepts and statements, making the street art medium even more relevant than before. The statements that emerge from the street reflect the status of the population, its pain, suffering, happiness, etcetera. This enables a dialogue with and between the public in the city and the world; artwork that tackles an issue or problem existing in a certain place can raise awareness around the world.

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: How did you become a street artist?
Dede:
I have never been able to call myself a street artist. Though my inspiration and energy definitely come from the streets and returns to them, I believe that regarding the artist, the viewer has to decide for him or herself. Art is a concept that is difficult to grasp, almost abstract. It can be described or reviewed in all sorts of ways and everyone has different opinions about it. I create from a place of internal motivation and that makes it hard to explain; I produce regardless of what “art” is.

Yoav Litvin: Do you do studio work as well? What is the difference for you?
Dede:
I also work in my studio, mostly preparing for work in the street. In the studio I work on sketches, models and tests that I later develop. Sometimes I accumulate work for a series of works to present in a slightly different manner than I would in the street with a different target audience in mind.

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: What is important for you to highlight in your work as a street artist?
Dede:
I guess what’s important for me to highlight in my street art is that there is always an alternative; if there is a pressing issue, whether personal or social, you are allowed to stand up and say what you think about it and in so doing bring the issue to the awareness of the public. Laws should not be complacently accepted, but rigorously reexamined. It is important to be thoughtful, critical and form an educated opinion about them.

 

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: What does street art in Tel Aviv reflect about the city’s urban life and about its urban civil society? Which is your favorite neighborhood?
Dede:
Something about Tel Aviv made me instantaneously feel connected; I love this city and never get tired of it. It offers infinite walls and workspaces, a fast-paced vibe and a lively young crowd that is very admiring, appreciative and supportive. It is a city that does not represent the rest of Israel, but it has become a place characterized by diverse opinions that interact with and affect the rest of the country. Each neighborhood has its own uniqueness; together the neighborhoods produce a varied and interesting city at any time of day, culturally and in many other respects.

Yoav Litvin: Recount a memorable experience that has happened to you while working on a piece in the street.
Dede:
Almost every time I go to work in the street I come back with exciting experiences and stories. One day during a quiet morning when I painted in an open parking lot in the Florentine neighborhood, I was on a ladder and a mom and her little boy approached me from behind. The boy asked his mother what I was doing and his mom responded: “What he’s doing is illegal, but this is his way of expressing himself.” This was a very simple statement and made me realize something unique about my way of life.

 

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: How do you envision the future of street art in general and in Tel Aviv in particular?
Dede:
In my opinion it is not possible to predict the future. This art movement plays with and between so many boundaries and stays fresh and always interesting, though, and perhaps because there are many attempts to institutionalize and formalize it or to simply exclude it. Along with its exposure and rapid development, street art is introduced into different parts of the “mainstream”. Some are even commercial even though street art is often illegal and directed against the system. It seems to me that it will take time for the interest in the street art scene to wane.

In my opinion this is just the beginning; street art arrived here in Tel Aviv relatively late, caught on very quickly and is still in its infancy. There are a lot of directions in which it could develop and many artists seek to develop their own styles. Like in any other field we Israelis look at what is happening in the rest of the world and try to bring the unique Israeli context into the mix.

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Yoav Litvin: Please describe the artistic techniques and materials you favor and why.
Dede:
Being a curious person and not very rational, I utilize a variety of techniques. I start thinking of what I want to say or do and where I want to say it and then only how to make it. I work with stencils, pastes, free hand, installations, site-specifics and more. I use paint, spray paint, paper and various industrial materials.

I hope that what eventually echoes out of my work is a path that shows my way of thinking and reasoning with statements that are probably still not completely clear, but will be revealed gradually to both myself and viewer.

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede. Sket . Task (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede (photo © Yoav Litvin)

Dede’s Info

Website: http://imdede.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/im.dede

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dedeconfidential/

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