As an artist, I’ve always struggled to comprehend the agenda of art galleries. While I realized they exist to exhibit art and promote artists, it seemed to me they are not accessible for many people, and by that undermine the true calling of art and its purpose.
These thoughts brought me to create my own Street Museum Project (#StreetArtMuseum), a project in which a colorful neighborhood in the heart of Tel Aviv slowly became a museum for everyone. A public sphere that is open 24/7 and “exhibits” paste-ups prints of classical paintings from different periods in art history, that go through my "filter" and become a new artwork, with messages that are relevant for our time and our culture.
As the creator of this museum, I’ve pasted print by print, and restored prints that were damaged, for four years I have created and maintained a museum, that enables any passerby on the street to see art.
As I added more artworks to the museum, the interest in this project increased. Residence of the neighborhood alongside with various visitors such as tour groups and passersby responded positively, people outreached to me and encouraged me to continue this project.
"These thoughts brought me to create my own Street Museum Project (#StreetArtMuseum), a project in which a colorful neighborhood in the heart of Tel Aviv slowly became a museum for everyone."
Two years after I began the street museum project, I was offered to participate in a solo exhibition in a small art gallery, not far away from the location of the street museum. I was surprised by the offer and not sure as to how to respond, as I have mentioned the street became my gallery, and exhibiting in a gallery space required making adjustments not only to my artwork but also to my perception of my art and what it inspires to represent. After long contemplations, I realized this offer challenges me, and my art and that is the main reason why agreed. I decided to call to my solo exhibition with the title – OUTSIDE[R] IN as a tribute to my works outside the gallery, and to the neighborhood that embraced them.
"I decided to call to my solo exhibition with the title – OUTSIDE[R] IN as a tribute to my works outside the gallery, and to the neighborhood that embraced them."
The exhibition was very successful and many people came to see what I have created. I was positively surprised to discover I can exhibit my artwork in an indoor gallery space without compromising the message behind my works. In addition, people have outreached to me before the exhibition and during, inquiring whether prints could be purchased somehow. Due to this outreach, I have decided to create this online shop, a platform in which people can directly purchase prints of my art pieces they’ve loved and found meaningful.
In this online shop, I have selected several paste-ups out of the dozens of artworks I have pasted to the street walls. Alongside the photograph of each purchasable print, you can see a photograph of the original print and the wall upon which it was exhibited in the street museum project.
Whilst the purchasable prints are derived directly from my works outdoors, I have made several changes to them, to ensure that they are suitable to be exhibited in an indoor space and enable each customer to purchase high quality and long-lasting piece of art.
I’ve created guidelines that differ the street artworks from purchasable prints; here are a few main points:
GOD IS IN THE DETAILS
The street has an advantage due to its rapid dynamic, people that notice artwork on the street, give it a few short moments of attention before they go on with their day, thus they won’t notice imperfections in the artwork and would focus on its agenda and massage. As a street artist, knowing this kept me in a certain safe zone with my work. In my series of purchasable prints, I realize that the viewing experience will be entirely different, and my work will be displayed in close spaces that provide better viewing experience, whether the print will be displayed in a gallery or a home, the viewer will spend much more time with the artwork, and every part must be perfectly executed- Which brought me to make sure all the prints were refined to ensure top quality art.
LABELS AND CREDITS
The addition of labels to each artwork is another link between a commonly knows museum to the street museum project. As a mixed media artist, I work a lot with paintings from various periods in art history and combine them in my work. The paintings I use as inspiration are displayed in museums throughout the world with labels by their side, describing various details about the artwork such as title, artist’s name, date, location, etc. I’ve decided to add the label as an inherent part of the artwork, alongside the label for my own artwork, linking between the two pieces, the one in a close gallery room in a museum and the other, pasted to the wall in my street museum project.
After realizing I have customers all over the globe, I wanted to find a way to personalize the artwork to each customer, so I’ve decided to add the address to which it would be sent, as part of the label and by that to the link between the locations. The new homes the print will be sent to alongside the original past-up were it was first exposed in my street museum.
To limit the amount between ten and twenty prints with each print receiving maximum value.
Usually, when printable artworks are sold, they are limited to a number of fifty up to a hundred copies per each work; this amount seemed too much for me. I wanted to maintain each copy in the series valuable and meaningful both to me and to the customer, so I’ve decided on a series of no more the twenty signed copies to each print.
Another technical yet important aspect that differs between the paste-up prints displayed in the street and the purchasable prints is the quality and thickness of the paper. I print my works on the street on the thinnest paper (90 grams) so that it sticks to the wall in the best way; the purchasable prints will be printed on much thicker paper-240 grams without wood- which ensures top quality and long-lasting work. (I’ve tried to paste a 240-gram thick print in the past; do not try it at home😉).
During the preparations for the exhibition, we encountered a great challenge and thought about how to display the works within the gallery. My prints are printed with a frame when I hang them outside, which has become my trademark, we wanted to stay in the same concept, which raised the question of how to display frame upon frame without overloading the work and letting the whole ensemble talk together. As I was looking for a solution I realized a friend who received a print as a gift, framed it in a ‘box frame’ with an elegant minimalist wooden box frame. The two-dimensional frame front corresponded perfectly with the actual frame and created the illusion of a three-dimensional work. The prints were framed in this manner and I believe this is the best suitable style of framing for my artwork. Sometimes the answers are next to us, we just have to look up and observe.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
At the end of the day, the street is my true gallery. The street museum project was my first creation and it will always guide me throughout my work. As a street artist, I have decided that each work must first find its place in a public space and only then can turn into a series of prints that will be offered for private collection. Beyond the realization that my art has made a positive impact on all the people who wanted and want to purchase my work, I find this online shop as another way for people to support what I do. All the income from sales will enable me to continue my work, to challenge myself through new and bigger projects, and most importantly to continue creating street art.
If there is another artwork you saw on the street or on my social media accounts and you want with you, feel free to write to me.