MembersIsraeli Graffiti Artists Making Waves in Mainstream Art

Graffiti breaking into the mainstream art community is a masterpiece of entrepreneur creativity, and a story worth telling.

By David Lazarus |
Photo: Dima Tretyaakov

In the 1960’s, a kid from Washington Heights nicknamed “TAKI,”  began writing his name on walls, trains and in subway stations to be seen by commuters coming into the city to work. It created such a craze, that the New York Times printed a article featuring “the mysterious kid who has captured the attention of the entire city.”

Poor young artists, wanting to break into the establishment saw this as a way to promote their art. They added color and three dimensional designs in order to attract more attention. Competition became fierce, and they sought out daring locations for overnight “bombs” of city buildings, bridges, trains and entire subway stations.  These monumental works also helped secure longer wall life.

People assume that graffiti began with rebellious youth making radical political statements. But graffiti began as an ingenious advertising strategy by aspiring artists looking for recognition. Consider some of the signature “tags” of Israel’s talented graffiti artists. A tag is a marketing device used to...

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