Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tzfat (Safed) old City

Safed old city at a cold rainy afternoon, the tourists and locals are staying in...

Winter rain in Israel keeps the locals indoors. Yesterday at Safed, a beautiful old city in the north, tourists were few and far between. Art studios were empty so one can linger and speak with the artists. Many restaurants did not bother to open, but the soup was hot and tables were easy to find. Israelis would not be considered daring cold weather people. Even when rains come in intermittent waves, walking the narrow streets of the old city was nice. Green hilly views all around were a refreshing break from Tel Aviv concrete jungle landscape. The old city goes back centuries. Some Jewish institutions (synagogues, yeshivas) are still attended by generation long family lines essentially making this city a testament for life here. The remains of the old city are made up of small homes, mostly two stories high with narrow streets. Built for foot traffic more than animal and machine (cars simply do not fit in these narrow streets). Safed was considered a center of Kabbalah teaching and writing since the 16th century (Jewish mysticism). A few restored old synagogues are a great peek into Jewish life here in the last few centuries. History of the city is a fascinating story reflecting the changes (and wars) in the Israeli upper Galilee region. With the Russian immigration during the 1990s the Israeli government encouraged artists to settle here. This accounts for a number of artist galleries open to tourists.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #5

Stencil like mural depicts some graffiti seen on Tel Aviv streets

Here is another mural from the Tel Aviv legal graffiti exhibit. This one in a stencil style looks like many small graffiti drawings seen on city streets. Stencil drawings are fast and easy to get on walls. They are also easy to create with simple computer programs. Some CAD machines can actually cut shapes in cardboard or thin plywood sheets. These make excellent stencils. Keep on coming, more pictures from Tel Aviv's streets and hidden "legal" graffiti life as I troll the city.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #4

This mural with a funky whimsical theme reflects a realistic cartoonist style, great colors make for a beautiful picture

Here is another mural from the Tel Aviv central bus station seventh floor collection. Actually there are more than twenty great pictures hiding there. Tel Aviv is a collection of so many different "bubbles" (essentially lifestyles, small communities, private interest groups) that this type of government effort to give one group a voice is hard to miss. Artists in Israel are a struggling bunch. While some have developed a voice, style and even a body of work, many are struggling just to get their art out to the public while holding a day McJob. But sadly it is hard to predict what will happen to government efforts to promote certain art projects. In the case of "legal graffiti" at the Tel Aviv central bus station, I don't think these artists are getting the benefit of their efforts. The area where these murals are drawn is mostly just a place where bus riders on local lines rush to catch a bus. In addition, there is the element of bus riders in general. These are usually the lower class laborers, students and conscripted soldiers (on compulsory duty from age 18 to 21). Which by itself is not such a bad audience, yet many will never make it to this hidden crevice in our vast urban sprawl. (sorry for the sarcastic-negative opinion, but it probably reflects the general view of many Tel Avivians).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #3

Subtle style yet incredible moving, street artists can be as skillful and meaningful as political as any mainstream artists.
This is a third in a series of Tel Aviv central bus station "legal graffiti" series. (see article 1 and article 2) Some of the wall size murals are subtle, hints of something dark or sinister. Interesting how street artists can be as subtle, intentioned and political as mainstream artists. The interesting collection at this hidden spot reveals a wide range of styles. The messages are not always subtle or anti establishment. There are beautiful "Keith Haring" like impressions. This is expected with the western (especially American) influence in the urban gritty lifestyle of Tel Avivians. There are also influenced of Arab and Russian drawing styles. Both a strong component of daily Israeli experience. More "legal graffiti" coming - not just from the central bus station.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ Wok Repulic

Urban graffiti mural inside the Wok Republic restaurant on Ben Yehuda | Copyright © 2015 DAVider
If you read the last few posts, we covered a few graffiti drawings in Tel Aviv. From the last story about the Wok Republic, here is a mural on the wall inside the restaurant. Gritty urban lifestyle has not taken a hold in Tel Aviv. There are many theories, mine is simply based on the wide range of people and lifestyles you can find in Israel's central area. Tel Aviv is a home of countless lifestyles. The gritty urban flavor, mostly imported from rundown cities around the world (US and Europe in particular) is not an attractive mainstream hit. But Tel Avivians still like to imitate the world's style. In general, there are not many Tel Aviv businesses decorated with graffiti like murals. This one is a nice one.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station #2

Futuristic, robotic funky graffiti mural in the Tel Aviv #Israel central bus station | Copyright © 2015 DAVider

The last post included a picture of a graffiti mural at the Tel Aviv central bus station. While the project as a whole received criticism, overall the station still serves thousands of riders every day. The station serves two large bus companies: Dan and Egged. Dan serves the central region of Israel. Here riders transfer mostly from buses and trains (there is a train station walking distance from the station) to destinations usually 20 to 50 kilometers from the city. Egged buses serves mostly the what is referred to as the "peripheral" regions of Israel, outside the central region (Gush Dan). The lower floors serves as a large mall, with the first floor (essentially the basement below ground) as one large shoe emporium. Yes, we have shoes from as low as $5 flip-flops to mid-range stilettos (this phenomena is worth a series of articles all by itself). The sixth floor is the Dan bus lines center. The seventh floor is the Egged bus line center. The murals, sort of graffiti done legally, are on the seventh floor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Legal Graffiti @ TLV Central Bus Station

Beautiful mural size "legal graffiti"; Tel Aviv central bus station; 7th floor | 
Copyright © 2015 DAVider

The story of Tel Aviv's "new" central bus station is an interesting one. Tel Aviv's "new" bus station is essentially a neglected and mostly unused "white elephant". Mostly turned into one part bus exchange (not useful due to the neglect of investment in the intercity bus system) - and part outlet and low cost shops mainly catering to foreign workers and young army soldiers. Combination of fast change, with an incredibly fast growth in private car ownership, with slow bureaucratic government decision process, ended up with essentially an outdated central bus station. Located near an old (what Israelis call "THE OLD") open air bus station, makes for a strange and often ridiculed example of the ineptness of Israel's government. Sometimes blamed at the transportation department, sometimes blamed at the ineptness of government to carry out large complex projects. But overall simply and example of what happens in Israel when government (but not only government) stays in one place too long without noticing real life changes. More on this in later posts...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stencilled Graffiti Near Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv

Some small graffiti stencils are designed to promote a product or a message / @ DAVider 2015

Tel Aviv's Graffiti artists are not always out to show their artistic creativity. Some are simply out to promote a product or even an event (a musical concert, street or public gathering). Hidden in side alleys and walls away from the main foot traffic, these small stencils are interesting commentary of some of the hidden culture in Tel Aviv. This small stencil was painted on a wall a block north of Dizengoff Center. One of Tel Aviv's largest shopping malls (and oldest ~ most established one).

Graffiti in Tel Aviv's Gordon Beach

Graffiti in walkway (clearance) above Gordon beach and pool, Tel Aviv beach @ DAVider 2015

Tel Aviv's walls have their share of Graffiti. A few years back street artists were going at it with energy and creativity. To Israelis, Tel Aviv, the big city, is sometimes a world class metropolis. But in reality, the city is too small and tame in international terms. The city also does not have large rundown sections with empty walls ready to be painted. With Israel's continuous economic growth and leveling social support policies, Tel Aviv also does not harbor a large poor population who is constantly at odds with the established government and commercial institutions (government agencies, public institutions and corporations). These factors make for a relatively tame, and some would say, small graffiti activity (at least visible in most public spaces).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Retirement In Tel Aviv (Part 3): Getting Artistic at 70: serious crafts & arts

Yes, it's suppose to be "arts and crafts" but in case of retirement in Tel Aviv it's crafts first then arts. One of the pleasures of retiring healthy is freedom to do what you like. Creating with your own hands is one of these pleasures. Mastering your craft then exhibiting your work takes the right environment, appreciation of people close to you and personal commitment. It also takes appreciation of art by the community. It helps to collaborate with other artists. All these are here in Tel Aviv and the surrounding towns. In some towns retirees are leading exhibit and groups activities for everyone in the community, children and adults. They organize trips and gather to paint in local parks.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jerusalem Mamila Street Statues - Part 2

This is the second installment of the Mamila Street statue exhibit (see the first part here.) Also notice of great deal of compression and loss in contrast in the editing process. If you would like to have the original JPG image with more detail for your site, please contact me directly. When posting on the blog in low resolution (a few hundred K size JPG) the color and texture are reduced. Especially the marble looses texture in low resolution. But than again there is no substitute to seeing it live in person!       E N J O Y


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jerusalem Mamila Street Statues

MAMILA STREET in Jerusalem is a new outdoor boutique mall. Mamila street is short passage with a nice collection of upscale boutiques and stores (from Gap to original jewelry). The biblical architectural design is a nice change from glass and steel malls copied like mushrooms all over Israel. Two Saturday's ago (September 11, 2009) I took a few pictures of the statue display. Israeli sculptures are a mixture of modern and traditional style. The exhibit is outside which limits the sculptures to stone and metal. Mamila street is also small, so the statues are small (20cm to 2meters). But these two limitations did not limit the artists imagination and skill. I will post more pictures in later posts as they are processed. Enjoy...


Monday, July 14, 2008

The quality of isolation: creativity, independence, self reliance

The other day a small film crew was interviewing an Israeli Blogger in Dizengoff Center. There was not real fuss, just two video cameras, lights, a producer and a director and two people with a little too much makeup having coffee. I remember seeing huge film crew in San Francisco and New York. Once in a while in a Boston suburb. But in Tel Aviv you can see little art being made all over the place. Besides the regular artist area south of the Shalom Tower, and the somewhat artificial artsy old Yaffo, there are little studios and workshops in the strangest areas of the city.

A blogger interview in Dizengoff Center: typical of lots of small productions in Tel Aviv
There is also a somewhat vivid post secondary art community with all kind of programs. Lately it seems like the film schools are buzzing with action all over the place. Most of the students use somewhat old professional equipment, I have no idea where they get it, but it's probably whatever still works from the TV channels, leftover foreign crew equipment, and whatever the Israeli army has not munged to death. The army trains lots of photographers and a fair number of videographers. When the intifadas where going full tilt, there were lots of video people all over the place. Every demonstration and odd activity was filmed and the Palestinians knew how to avoid these hidden lenses. This is what eventually got them to adopt the full head cover with the keffiyeh, that famous Arab scarf in the distinctive white and black or red pattern.
Jump Cut school for editors and animators - art in the city?!
But as you may imagine, filming riots of Palestinian and Israeli army "action" does not a film maker makes. Israel and to some extent Tel Aviv are going through a metamorphosis of sort. Small trade schools which were essential technical institutes for all kind of trades are growing quickly. Mostly because the universities are not big enough to take all the students which want to attend. Also, there are many new areas which excite young people which the universities have never taught. So the film, editing, photo, and performing art institutes are growing like a runner on steroids. Which is not a bad thing at all. So enjoy the original Israeli movies, music, and dance.
So back to the title, if you were still wondering what this is all about? If Israel had relationships with Arab countries, for example Egypt, Israelis would probably opt to go an study there. Unbeknown to most westerners, the Egyptian film industry is only second to to the Indian Bollywood and the American Hollywood. Egyptian film industry dwarfs anything in Europe, Africa, and Asia! But total cultural and trade isolation gives Israeli schools an opportunity to thrive. Sometimes and they say, you got to make lemonade from lemons... just leave the sugar out for me ;-)
Film makers and producers - all kind of schools...
Jump Cut - School for editors and animators
Minshar - Open University film program (BA)