When I’m out and about, I go around looking for public art because I think that this is a long lost travel objective that people don’t do anymore. There is a reason we have public art, in the first place, so someone who is an artists understands this, thus creates public art. My fascination with it goes back to my old HIP HOP days, when I used to go around looking at people tagging up the walls and trains with graffiti. I used to be a graffiti artist, as well, and used to even airbrush my art and characters on T-shirts and Jackets, because that used to be a thing in the Black and Latin community. A good reference for you is a company called SHIRT KINGS, who was popular in the genre, way back when. I had my airbrush and all that, and I could do real portraits and plays on popular cartoons. Coming from this background, any chance I get to see anyone’s URBAN art, I’m there! I even go to things like this SELFIE MUSEUM, because it’s basically you putting yourself in a scene created by artists! It’s public art! It really puts me in a happy place. Some of you may think that is not so, but I have it documented even here in Chile when I went looking for it in Valparaiso. Wherever it is, I go look for it, whether it is politically-charged art in Chile, or even some historically politically-religiously-deadly references in art, such as that in Ireland, if it exists, I will go map out murals where I go, and try to get pics before someone murders me. Once, when I went to Israel, I attempted to do the same thing, and stumbled on a post for something called “The Pop-up Museum” version 2.
I didn’t know what that meant but when I looked at the advert, it has some really cool art there! I had to get in there to check that out, but I didn’t get the part about it being a “museum”. The advert didn’t look like it was a museum, it looked like it was in an apartment of some artist. Israel is wild, Tel Aviv specifically, and I’d move there if I could, to be honest with you, so to see art from Israelis in Tel Aviv, that HAD to be nuts. No way I was going to miss the opportunity for this. Why? Because like many of my buddies, Israelis are very straight forward with wording, seemingly harsh if you’re not used to it, but the expression and emotion of people, and filled with social commentary. I knew I’d see some of that in this art, and surely I did. I expected to see a lot of irony. So imagine such intent unleashed in the form of ART!!!! Hell yeas, I was not going to miss this Pop-up Museum! I had to try to figure out what that name was all about but The Pop-up Museum lived up to its name, it really does just pop-up wherever they set it and you have a limited amount of time to get in there to see the excellent art work of the artists. Seriously, it doesn’t exist anymore. I scheduled this post to go out, and there was a problem with the ability to auto-post, so I didn’t notice that this Pop-Up Museum post did not go out. I only noticed after patching the server that I had this post that never made it out, so I’m putting it out now. I went there right before Covid struck too!!!
The Pop-Up Museum that I saw, was version 2 of the event, which is that this museum had a first version, at some point, and then this newer one came up, but I had no idea what was going on with the first one, because I couldn’t find the “museum” anywhere. After asking around, to some of my Israeli buddies, NONE OF THEM KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT with this Pop-Up Museum. The reason they don’t know about it is that it doesn’t EXIST- meaning it’s not a permanent structure, it really is living up to its name, it just Pops-up. So it’s more like an event that you need to be ready to go to as soon as they announce it, before it’s gone and you don’t ever get to see it again. This is why nobody I asked knew of it and why I couldn’t find the information about the previous Pop-Up Museum on Google maps. If you look it up now, where it was, it says “PERMANENTLY CLOSED“. That increased the importance of me going to this place, when I did finally find where it was located, because it would not last forever. Then only problem was, when I arrived in Israel, that was the LAST DAY it was going to be open, and odd as it was, it was RAINING!!!!! And raining HARD, which was the first time I had been in Israel and seen it rain. I know, you don’t hear about rain in Israel much, but it was coming DOWN that January.
I checked Google Maps and I saw the location of where the museum would be, and I was looking for a glass-front building, or some formal museum and what I saw instead was that this version Pop-up of the museum was created inside of an old, 4-story high building with 15 apartments in it! That explained the advert that I saw about this place, when first catching my eye, which looked like it was on a wall inside of an apartment. The problem was that when I went by this place, there was a line down the block- and not just down the block but AROUND the block, TWICE! I had to think about how much I really wanted to see this thing, but then again, when in Israel, if you see a line to get into a public location, then you get on it because it’s going to be good, like when I was in line for KHANFEH the first time I ever had it! To top it off, it was RAINING, as I said, and it started coming down more, and was quickly getting dark out. I made the decision to get in line, in the damn rain, thank goodness I had an umbrella.
I was trying to wrap my head around why do this museum in an apartment building, and knew it had to be fire. Apparently, the associated artists took over the building and created wonderful works of art, from wall to wall, floor to floor, of the entire building. Every wall and room was going to have some form of art in it. After a few hours in line- thank God for podcasts- I arrived at the Pop-up Museum and immediately went all the way to the top floor, because too many people were lingering only on the lower floors. As I went up, wall by wall was LINED WITH COOL ART that reminded me of days in the projects in NYC. It was more artistic than regular street graffiti, but clearly, this was graffiti in the style of Blacks and Latinos in the 80-90s. Every corner of the Pop-up Museum that I peaked into, I saw something completely different, completely odd and some of it really threw off a lot of the people who were viewing some of it. There was a lot of cooky stuff. If you like street art, this place was a wet dream! So much of it left me scratching my head like “DUDE, WTF IS GOING ON HERE?”
The group behind the Pop-up museum project use the attention to raise awareness for urban renewal in Tel Aviv. There are a lot of buildings there, and when you go around, some are historic and they’re being repaired, slowly, but this building that they had here was slated to be demolished when done, because a new building was going to be put in in its place. Here is a very interesting thing though, when I got close to the building and finally saw the sign for the Pop-up Museum, I saw that the Pop-up Museum was being sponsored by Adidas and Footlocker! That was very interesting to me, why would they have anything to do with the Pop-up Museum. When I got in, I realized, because I saw a lot of graffiti themed things in there, which Adidas has been kept alive by Black people since the 80s, with Run DMZ, and today, with Kanye West, whom they just dumped for his comments. Hmm, that’s why Adidas, although originally a NAZY COMPANY, quickly dumped Kanye- they’re doing a lot of business with Jewish people, and would like to escape their Nazi history, and wanted no association with Kanye given that. Also, remember when Puma came in and took over because Adidas dumped Israel and refused to support the Israeli soccer team? Do you really trust them for years of flip flopping? They will do anything to make money, even pretend to be sided with you to promote your causes like you’ve always been buddies, while they exploit you and your culture for profit.
The connection the graffiti specifically, was Adidas basically peddling Black graffiti culture in art. Back in the days, when people depicted hip hop characters, you’d normally see this with Adidas as the suit of a graffiti character, or the shell-top Adidas on a character. Sneakers are huge in hip hop culture, so I can also see the Foot locker connection there too, but I know Adidas as a bunch of culture vultures who try to exploit Blacks. Ever since catching on during the 1936 Berlin Olympic games, where Hitler ordered people to wear Adidas, and even got the American Black, Jesse Owens to wear them too, which Jesse did so he made sure he made it back home by obeying! America helped propel Adidas to prominence, after WW2 too! Just an interesting observation. Nobody Black should be anywhere NEAR Adidas, who are masters of outrage marketing like when Adidas made these SLAVERY SNEAKERS. Yall better beware of Adidas, I’m not sure they’ve changed all that much. Many times, I’ve seen Adidas attach itself to “urban” things in typical culture vulture form, and if you think that they didn’t already knew about the alleged anti-Semitism of Kanye, you’re out of your mind. It’s still run by that same family, so you think they completely denounce their grandfathers?
You have to think about how crazy this whole project is because there is pure beauty represented on those walls of the gallery, a lot of time and effort clearly went into the works that one can find in this museum, and then it’s all going to be completely scrapped. That’s NUTS, but these artists are all about the message they send and I like the vibe. Much of the works is NUTS on top of that, making this a very worthwhile experience. As an artist, myself, I like to see the boundaries that pros are pushing, and they certainly did REAL art in this place.
Many people loved this vibe because the line to get into the building wrapped around 2 corners to the opposite, parallel street to the apartment building. It was 10 Celsius (50 degrees F) and it was raining. 10 Celsius in Israel feels much colder than 10 Celsius in the USA, let me tell you! Still, we were all out there for at least 1 hour in the line waiting, because, as you can see from some of the things posted here! I can’t wait for the the next Pop-Up!
As always, the finished products can be found on the main site of www.drunkphotography.com.