Klone is one of Tel Aviv’s most prolific street artists, and lately he’s been making waves on the internet was well. Klone’s recent work has involved a series of “predator” characters that he’s painted and wheatpasted throughout Tel Aviv.
I’ve mentioned Klone before, but I didn’t really know anything about him besides what I found on his flickr. Luckily, I was about to get in touch with him to do a little Q&A session that I’m very excited to share with you.
RJ: When did you start doing work on the street, and do you have an art background?
Klone: My story with the street started in 1999 when I somehow stumbled upon graffiti, I went on trying this thing and got really into since the first time out, back then doing graffiti in Israel meant pioneering it, learning it all by yourself from internet and books since there was practically nothing out there, both writing and street art scenes started to develop only in last few years and still in their beginnings.
I don’t have any art education background but as a kid I was always drawing, building and inventing worlds for myself and the friends I used to play with.
RJ: Where did you get the name Klone?
Klone: 5 years ago I was still into writing my name which was MAKE back then, and through sketching I came upon my first characters, that looked almost the same, really simple ones, same but different, I called them klones – same clones but different, thus the ‘K’, and since then it became my name. I rarely do letter pieces nowadays, concentrating more on image work.
RJ: In addition to your work in the street, you’ve done work for galleries/charity events. What’s different about working on the street versus working in a “gallery friendly” medium like canvas?
Klone: Hmm, I still think that the only friendly thing about canvas is the fact that I can roll it up when I finish painting it so I don’t have to see it or stumble into. But seriously now I see gallery as just another place to express myself with its own terms, It wasn’t an easy thing for me to put my work on white walls, took me awhile to get used to it and be able to really handle it. I still see the street as the ultimate gallery, with the best critics, and the galleries serve as a platform to show the stuff I’m fuckin’ around with in my studio.
Read the rest and see more photos after the jump…
RJ: How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?
Klone: Creatures, mostly unreal to you but looking at them deeper you will always see something of yourself.
RJ: What do you do when not making art?
Klone: Girlfriend, family, friends, studying some, drinkin’ some and then back to art.
RJ: Has living in Tel Aviv influenced your work at all?
Klone: Of course it has, Tel-Aviv is Israel’s center of culture and as a big city its open for you to explore and discover it. The good side vs the bad of course. I spend most of my time downtown in areas full of poor people, seeing on the streets prostitutes, drug dealers and junkies, this area has had a huge influence on my work, and most of my paintings are in this area.
My inspiration will usually come from just taking a walk in the city.
RJ: What goals do you have for your art?
Klone: I would like to make people react, love it or hate it but react, maybe awaken some of them from the everyday boredom and so they start noticing what’s happening around. I’m really happy to hear people that get inspired by seeing my work.
RJ: Who are your greatest artistic influences?
Klone: I really don’t know anymore, too many names, from the unnamed artists of ancient Egypt to the nowadays graffiti artists, I admire dedication and draw influence from all my surroundings.
RJ: Where in the world would you most like to put your work?
Klone: In a place I haven’t put it yet, always into discovering new streets… but still coming back to Tel-Aviv.
All these photos have been from Klone’s flickr, where you can see more of his work.
UPDATE (9/12/08): Check out Klone’s post in Vandalog’s “Great in ’08” series.