With so many walls painted with graffiti around Tel Aviv, most residents are able to name a few artists like Wonky Monkey, Sened, and Know Hope, to name a few. There is one particular type of graffiti art which is defined by its originality, and the artist’s hope is to leave us with a meaningful message as we continue through our daily grind. We had a chat with Murielle Street Art, who creates one-of-a-kind graffiti around South Tel Aviv.
Where are you from, and how did you find yourself in Tel Aviv?
I was born in Montreal, Canada. I came to live in Tel Aviv from New York City. I thought Israel would be a destination for me when I’m a senior citizen, due to the fact that I come from a Zionist family. I had eczema my whole life, and there was a period when I lived in New York, and it got worse. My dermatologist suggested that I should go to the Dead Sea to cure my eczema. On my first day in Israel, I went straight to the Dead Sea and met the father of my two boys in the water, and the rest is history.
When and why did you decide to paint/graffiti/brighten our walls?
I didn’t go to art school; I didn’t think I would be an artist. Life just took me through a chain of events that lead me to this destination. My first inspiration started when I was living in a Kibutz next to Gaza. The Kibutz started building shelters as an extension to homes for our security. I found myself collecting and saving old wooden window frames that were discarded in construction dumpsters. I felt that it was a pity to discard quality which was replaced by cheap aluminum windows. Then I felt the need to recycle them. Simultaneously, I was thinking of an idea of how to expose my collection of vintage passionate photographs of dancers. So I put two and two together and came up with my first series on the streets, called ‘Dancing Towards The Stars.’
What message are you trying to portray in your work?
To hold on to quality. To hold on to life. To not become a robot just yet. To not be a sheep in a herd.
What are your favorite materials to use?
Discarded recycled materials, like internal electronic parts of TV sets or old devices or something that was used quite frequently and was easily replaced by more advanced, modernized materials. All in all, things that had a life before it got replaced by more advanced technology.
Has anyone ever objected to your art?
So far, so good!
What and where do you love the most about Tel Aviv?
I love the people and the neighborhood of Florentin. It feels like a little village; everybody knows everybody. There’s a lot of heart in Israel. I feel at home.