Hey guys! I know, it has been quite a while, but it’s not because I never think about you! It’s just that lately I’ve been sooo busy with painting… Haha, that’s typical for me! So now take a look at the picture below – as you can see, I painted Kobe Bryant, (more…)
When you’re an artist, if your heart is to break, you want it to be because of unreciprocated love or something equally impressive… In my case, the cause will probably be energy drinks. That’s low, I know. I’ve got to admit it even if I don’t want to: drinking RedBull is an established habit of mine already. It’s like other people’s coffee to me. It just works better, it’s tastier… And it will probably blow my heart up one day, yep.
I did drink liters of RedBull while painting this one, but my unlikely almost-addiction is not the reason it actually came into existence. I just decided that it was time to put my skills into practice, but this time actually taking the plunge. I wanted to paint something I’d never painted before. So this piece is really great I guess, I’m quite proud of myself, although there are many parts I’m still not sure about, I may implement some changes.
When you look at it, the painting looks like a tough piece. I won’t say it was a piece of cake, but I had loads of fun in the process, following the wrinkles and trying to catch the color differences. It was an easy way of getting the result I wanted. It was so enjoyable to paint RedBull not only because it’s the icon of energy drinks and my personal guilty pleasure… It’s also an entirely new type of piece for me to create.
As you know, I’m usually more of a portrait guy, but I’ve come to appreciate this kind of art a lot. Actually, I’m already looking for a new object to paint using this technique I’m so glad to have discovered. Maybe you guys have an idea that will inspire my next piece? Waiting for your suggestions.
Well, I won’t say this is my first mural, as it’s not, but I have to admit it’s the most interesting one I’ve painted so far. Just take one look and you will see why… Painting your own self is never a dull experience, and on such a big scale, it’s simply fascinating. There are so many people passing by, asking me questions and taking pictures of me as I’m at work, it just feels different to what I usually do. I’m used to painting on my own, without any onlookers, in silence or maybe with some music, but there’s definitely no interaction involved when I’m working my usual way. Unless I decide to speak to myself, that is! 😉 So it was one crazy show, definitely, so impromptu, an incredible experience.
Rotem Fhima, my graphic designer, worked with me on the designed for a few days before I actually hit the street. It took quite a long time to get the owner of the building to accept our project, but that’s no surprise. That guy’s actually worked with the crème de la crème of the artist world, people like JR, Banksy, Retna, so no wonder he wanted to take his time. Actually, some works of JR can be seen on a nearby building, I really like them all.
A few days of work, a few months of getting the idea and the image into its right state, and I was ready to start with the actual thing. What an experience that was, 13 straight hours on a crane just painting, my head all dizzy, just CRAZY. It kind of felt like flying, and if both flying and creating are two outstanding things on their own, just imagine them combined. Simply godlike. The outcome looks a bit like a cartoon self-portrait and as far as I know, it’s unique on the scale of DTLA. I’ll be unbelievably pleased if you decide to check it out on 639 S Spring Street, LA, just by LA Café.
I’ve always been fascinated by the people who will definitely leave something huge behind them when they pass away. You know, the absolute game changers. I thought, well, why not combine that attraction with my passion… it’s time to do justice to some remarkable figure and paint them.
It didn’t take me a lot of time to realize that Iris Apfel is the gal worthy of all attention that she could possibly be lavished with. A huge, huge change had place in the fashion industry thanks to her, and it’s the industry in the whole wide world that we’re talking about, not some local affairs – that’s how influential Iris is.
Fascinated by the diverse aspects and attitudes towards art expressed in different cultures, Iris would travel around the world and collect various non-western pieces. People like Iris are so inspiring to me, she truly takes the Art to a whole different level and few creators can boast that. I mean, just look at her face… You can see that there’s such an interesting story hidden behind it. I’d take Iris to lunch. 😉 But as that’s not happening right now, I have to make do with just painting her.
If you look at Iris, she seems to always be wearing bright-colored clothing, so I thought the best way to capture the essence of her being is to contrast her with a blue background. I used oil paint and canvas and to be honest, the result came out beyond my wildest dreams. I sincerely think it’s one of the best portraits I’ve painted so far… And oh, don’t I love Iris Apfel a lot!
Inspiration is a fickle beast, and sometimes difficult to find. Sometimes it flows like an open faucet and other times I struggle to find the reason to move forward. When it rains it pours right? But there are things that help keep me busy, occupied, and motivated. People motivate me, or I should say, fellow artists motivate me to be better, and different then I am already. I see amazing street art or a new painting and want to make my own. It’s one of the great reasons to live in a place like Los Angeles, where active artists are everywhere. Call it a new year’s resolution, but a big goal of mine this year is to collaborate more with the people around me, and the artists I’ve met.
That said, I’ve started bringing together a select group of artists of (almost) any kind to be inspired. Looks like this will be a series of events to create from beauty, or ugliness, or curiosity. Several locations have already been booked, and they’re great. Some days we’ll meet in a barren warehouse, and others in an estate large enough to hold an elephant. No really, we’re planning to get an elephant.
Each evening will include a live model of inspiring qualities. A beautiful person? Sometimes. An exotic animal? No doubt. A team of acrobats? Hopefully, but not guaranteed.
Only a few rules apply. No photography, video or cellphones, because this is a place to be free and express yourself in new ways, without worrying about who will see you. And since we keep the groups small and invite only, if you commit to being there and don’t show up, you’ll never receive an invitation again. Seriously, never.
The next event is January 30th at 8pm. Hope I see you there!
I’m heading off to NYC before the summer ends, to take-in the street fairs, concerts, public festivals, fire hydrant fountains, rooftop parties, and great street art. It’s a place to be inspired by, which is how I ended up with this new NYC sharpie piece. I love the way the buildings look together from the right angle, and the scale and density of everything is like nothing else I’ve seen.
I’m a big fan of street art as some of you already know, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for new pieces around NY. I know Shephard Fairey an JR have a couple recent murals up, but I’m really looking forward to just seeing what young/unknown artists have done recently.
Also looking forward to visiting my friend Ami O while I’m in town. He’s a talented DJ and percussionist, and the way combines the two skills when he performs live is something truly special to see. Check him out: amiosound.com
I completed a new photoshoot for #NoApologiesArt over the weekend. It’s similar to a previous project where we projected my paintings on the bodies of people to create a separate piece of art, but this time with a larger variety of art and more models. It was really interesting to experiment with body types, positions, and angles to find the best combination for each painting. We even experimented with projecting images of other people onto the models, which was strange and interesting to see the contrasting skin types on each other.
Lots of great work from photographer Drea Castro and her team. They put a lot of work into the lighting, which is a big challenge when projecting images onto a subject for photos. The room was almost completely dark with a dim modeling light. We used some powerful strobes to achieve the look, but careful balance and angling were needed so we didn’t overwhelm the projected image.
We also had a chance to photograph people showing support for the #NoApologiesArt campaign while we were at the studio. I painted on arms and hands while Drea and Ben Smith both captured the participants. It’s just another step in our mission to diminish terrorism’s growing power in the world by encouraging people to be proud of who they are and what they’ve done. The campaign is growing in popularity and we hope it catches on worldwide.
Big thanks to the great people at Redlab Studios in North Hollywood for providing a creative space for us to work. Finished pictures will be displayed in a gallery event we’re planning for October to promote #NoApologiesArt. Details of the event coming soon!
Photo by Ben Smith: www.benchristophersmith.com
I thought it would be a fun idea to show a giant child picking up a car near a crowded downtown parking lot. “Park at your own risk” is the theme here, who knows what might happen when you leave! My friend Eric and I came up with the idea a few weeks back and I decided use a picture of my daughter Eden as the subject. Anyone that knows Eden knows that she would be tossing cars around left and right if she was able to.
She turned out to be a great model for this project. I’ve been really busy painting lately, but this was a special piece for me. Words just can’t describe the pride I feel when I see her smiling face on a larger wall next to a bustling street downtown.
Not to say that this was the easiest painting. I rented an industrial lift to help me over some obstacles and nearly 30 feet into the air. It took some time getting used painting above ground, especially on a swaying crane. I was able to complete the outline one night though, and the rest of the painting the following day. It’s the kind of project I expect to do much more of very soon.
It’s great to be able to contribute to an area populated with street art from JR, Banksy, and Claudio Ethos. The historic downtown core and gallery row areas are full of great street art, and residents seem to be taking a genuine interest in art as a way to beautify the area with positive messages. A lot of people came by 639 S. Spring Street to see what was being put up this weekend, and I think that’s a great sign for the area.
I don’t want my children growing up in a world of fear and terror. Terrorism organizations are fueled and empowered by the criticism of the people who fight them.
After my time serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, I feel it’s important to stand up for your actions and not to apologize for what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished. I’ve met with vets of military organizations around the world and I see that many people have questioned the missions they served in. These hard working people put their lives on the line for the citizens of their countries in order to protect their neighbors and families.
These vets all felt that no matter how much they questioned a mission that they were on, no one should ask them to apologize for the sacrifice they made. They had a job to do, and did it well, no apologies.
And so I started the #NoApologiesArt campaign. It represents the contrast of the indivual perspective versus the institution. It’s about being yourself, no matter what criticism you face, and not being afraid of anything. It’s about encouraging the future generation to express themselves and their feelings without holding anything back.
As a contribution to the campaign I’ve projected my “Unbreakable” paintings on the bodies of people to show the individual perspective versus the institution they represent. Talented photographer Drea Castro helped me create these pieces to raise the awareness in the war against terror around the world. You can see what Drea has been working on lately at http://getdrea.com/blog
But this campaign isn’t really about me, or my art. It’s about everyone else expressing themselves and showing that they care about freedom of expression. No matter who a person is or where they come from, that person should feel free to be who they truly are. To be comfortable believing in yourself, your actions, and your personality is a great thing.
Post your own picture supporting the campaign by tagging #NoApologiesArt on social media. Write it on your body and express yourself loudly.