7 street artists and 3 graffiti places in Tel Aviv chosen by graffiti expert Milli Katz
Milli Katz is a graphic designer. After retiring she suddenly fell in love with the graffiti that covers Tel Aviv. She became a good friend and a supporter of young artists and now owns a huge collection of street art. She brings her camera to abandoned buildings and nasty alleys hunting for art pieces and carefully organizes them afterwards on her flickr account. YOMYOM asked Milli to talk about a few of them.
He came from New Jersey, US. When he graduated from school his father told him ‘OK, now it’s time for you to see the world’ and sent him to Yotveta, Israel. It was a kibbutz with cows far out in the middle of the desert. Zero Cents began to drink there, and he drank heavily. He then escaped to Tel Aviv and met another artist called Klone. They became friends and started working together in the streets of Tel Aviv. Zero Cents drank heavily until three years ago, when he visited the US and his father took him to an AA group. He does all kinds of jobs because his works are hard to sell. There aren’t many people like us who feel comfortable living with these scary images on their walls.
Many Tel Aviv street artists came to Israel from Russia and Ukraine as teenagers. They felt they didn’t belong here or back there, so they started painting the streets to mark the city, to appropriate it. Klone is one of them. He came from Ukraine with his mother when he was just over 10 years old and started putting wolves and bears and other Ukrainian symbols all over the walls. After the army he went to the Shenkar art school but soon left. Now he creates both street and gallery art and has exhibitions all over the world.
Vasiliy is a drunk from Russia, he graduated from a good art school there. He paints rarely but when he does — it’s something incredible. He knows what he's doing! There is a weird place near the Tel Aviv jail called Yakuza hotel. Maybe it’s a whorehouse or just a beggars’ house. Vasiliy painted it all over. I especially love his beautiful Yakuza.
Kislow is a world-famous street artist. He lives in Ukraine but he has family here, so sometimes his works can be spotted in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He also works with Klone from time to time. I wish he came here more.
She is about 45 years old. She started painting the streets about seven years ago. She makes posters at home and stucks them to the walls or paints the walls with colours and brushes. She doesn’t like to be recognised, so every time she has an exhibition she just doesn't appear.
Monkey is an Israeli guy who started with some unimpressive teenage tags but now he does very interesting and special things. He works with a tattoo artist Michal Rubin.
Adi studied architecture but never worked in the field. He does lovely stencils, cutting little figures out of x-ray films and combining them as Lego pieces. He has a unique sense of humor in his work.
• The seventh floor of the Central Bus station. There is a big graffiti exhibition. The artists are adding new pictures all the time — сome on Saturday and you can see people painting. The station supports it, because it’s so alive, clean and brings people there. Sometimes Mati Ale is making tours there to raise money for materials for an upcoming exhibition on the fourth floor.
• Florentin especially between the Abarbanel and Elifelet streets. The little carpenters shops here are covered with graffiti. Looks like the walls are holding up only thanks to thick layers of paint. There are lots of graffiti tours passing through there.
Text Asya Chachko
Photo Masha Kushnir, Milli Katz