- Talma Gotteiner
Jerusalem: The International Walls Festival 2018
Updated: May 6, 2020
I am happy to share with you some information on an outdoors art exhibition in the beautiful Talpiot neighborhood of Jerualem. Get ready for a pleasant stroll and lots of Instagrammable photos!
Eden, the economic development company in Jerusalem, which is active in the urban renewal of the city center, initiated the international art project "The Walls" in the Talpiot neighborhood. As part of the project, leading artists from Israel and the world were invited, and each of them was assigned a huge wall in the heart of the neighborhood for their creations. Among the garages, offices and parking lots, huge, colorful and spectacular murals have appeared on the walls of ten public and industrial buildings.
Talpiot is the only neighborhood in Jerusalem that was planned as a 'modern city' and from the outset, did not meet the requirements of the mandate to build in Jerusalem stone. Most of its buildings are covered with cement or white plaster. The Talpiot industrial zone was established in the 1970s and many businesses moved to the neighborhood, as well as entertainment and cultural centers. Talpiot is perceived by the residents of the city as a ghost town, remote and isolated. However, it is home to a diverse population and serves as a setting for many urban occurrences.
Above: Broken Fingaz
The walls in the public space are the landscape of us all and therefore belong to us. Whether consciously or unconsciously, they pour messages into our lives. We have a choice, whether to leave the stage to marketing content that covet our pockets, or to use it to promote aesthetic-cultural content that is meaningful to us all.
Among the participating artists are the leading street artists from Israel: Pilpeled, Know Hope and Broken Fingaz, Klone, Guma and Brothers of Light - the GAB and Elna brothers who evolved from the Jerusalem skateboard scene. From the international scene come BICICLETA SEM FREIO (i.e. Bicycles Without Brakes) an internationally renowned pair of Brazilian illustrators and graffiti artists, SMITHE ONE or Mexican Smith an artist, designer, sculptor, illustrator, graffiti artist and musician and ROUHAN WANG an artist of Chinese origin living in Germany.
Above: Rouhan Wang
Among the artists presenting murals in the "Walls" project in Talpiot, Jerusalem:
Smith's work is heavily influenced by old Mexican comics, 1950s graphics and science fiction films. He began experimenting with graffiti at the age of 13 as a hobby. As an autodidact that is drawn to the world of art, Smith has invented and developed his style over the past years incessantly. His work deals with conceptual subjects such as existentialism, individualism and the machine within man. 'Defragmentation', a recurrent theme in his works, serves as a tool, a sort of surrealist machine that expresses the internal elements that activate its characters. Known mainly for his graffiti works but also for his works as an illustrator, designer, sculptor and musician. Smith exhibited in Germany, France, Belgium, Britain, Spain, the United States and Mexico.
BICICLETA SEM FREIO
Bicycletta-Sem-Freio (Bicycles Without Brakes) was founded in Brazil in 2005 by two world-renowned Brazilian illustrators and artists, Douglas de Castro and Rantau Pereira. Their works are deeply rooted in Brazilian music and culture, as well as their love for the 1980s and pop culture. Their work is full of conceptual layers and connections that produce sophistication in combination with pop expressed in an ironic and provocative language. The multitude of events in their paintings captures the viewers' eyes and puts them into the rich inner world of the artists. For only four years their works have painted huge walls around the world and they have created illustrations for companies such as Nike, NBA, Vans and Converse as well as posters for musicians such as Beck, Vampire Weekend and Kings of Leon.
BROTHERS OF LIGHT
Brothers of Light consists of the GAB and Elna artists and brothers who began their joint journey in 2014. The duo works in several mediums including murals, canvas, wood and sculpture, influenced by different cultures both from the environment in which they grew up, as well as from the international art world. As children, they grew out of the Jerusalem skateboard scene, thus exposing them to street culture, which still has a direct influence on the world of images they create. In our world, where mechanisms and apathy prevail, the brothers try to present a parallel utopian dimension in which both peace and tranquility coexist - through use of clean lines, oriental elements and optimistic colors.
Broken Fingaz (broken fingers) are a multidisciplinary art collective from Haifa. Their independent approach together with the deep cooperation between the group members for over a decade has made Broken Fingaz known for their unique style, and in their large-scale works that seem to have been made by one artist's hand. The fingaz started with graffiti in the streets of Haifa and designed posters for local music events. Today their work includes paintings, animations and displays. The visual language they created helped shape the new generation of contemporary culture and art in Israel. In recent years their works have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. They have collaborated with musicians such as U2, Blink 182, The Alchemist, Pearl Jam and many others.
Pilpeled is one of the leading artists in the Israeli street design and culture scene. Thanks to his unique aesthetics, as well as the strong perspective and design techniques identified with him, Pilpeled's works succeed in creating a rich language, leaving a deep impression on the viewers. Over the years, Pilpeled has created a unique painting style that is identified with him, which includes dramatic and sometimes surrealist images in monochromatic colors. Today his works can be found on walls around the world, on canvas and on clothes and accessories that he designs under his fashion brand.
Adam Yekutieli, known as the artist Know Hope, developed a visual language that uses repeated iconography to reflect everyday situations and observations and to document a perception of collective human struggle. By creating parallels between political situations and emotional situations, Yekutieli tries to translate the political discourse into an emotional mechanism, enabling a process that can be understood and shared intuitively and not only intellectually. The process of creation takes place in the public space and in internal spaces in the form of place-dependent installations, wall paintings, drawings and assemblage works that combine ready-made, mixed techniques, photographs and text. In recent years, Yekutieli has focused on ongoing and long-term projects that create a dialogue between the private and public spheres.
His projects, 'Vicariously Speaking', 'Truth and Method' and 'Taking Sides' combine different population groups and create group dynamics between the artist and the participants. By putting these works in the public sphere, Yekutieli seeks to eliminate the separation between the emotional and the political, and to allow the viewers to see themselves as an integral part of their environment by identifying each other's humanity.
Photography: Yaeli Gabriely
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