Klone/Tel Aviv interview

Can you introduce yourself ? Who are you ? where do you live ?
Over the last 7 years or so I’ve been signing some of my works as Klone , some I don’t sign and others are done under different names . I guess my most known work goes under the label of Klone so we can stick to that.

I come from Tel-Aviv ,
which is physically located in Israel ,
but mostly feels like an independent island
of sanity/insanity in this crazy land .

My beginning with street art lay in graffiti which I started doing somewhere in 1999 (under the name MAKE), back then we didn’t really have any graff scene here in Tel-Aviv or in Israel at all and you could count all graffiti kids around the country on one and half hands :)

How did you came to street-art ?
Long story short – around 2003-4 I started to experiment with characters . Started with stickers and passing through couple characters I came upon one that eventually got me my current name and stuck for awhile, It was a kind of clone but I wanted it different so C was replaced with K . Years later I’m not doing a single character anymore and half the time I don’t even sign my work outside but trying to develop a kind of deeper conversation between myself, the city and the occasional viewer. And since few years ago I started to be more involved in the contemporary art scene in Israel, then the environment of the white cube came into my life and allowed me another platform of self expression.

You are born in Ukraine. Are Ukrainian culture and graffiti scene an influence to your visual language ?
I moved from Ukraine to Israel in 94 , back then there was no graff scene in either of the places . I am surely inspired from the Ukrainian folk culture as this where I’m coming from . I always feel that I didn’t get enough of that and trying to learn more . I think that eventually the work doesn’t reflect one place that I belong to because I can’t say I belong to one place or culture, so the work is neither Ukrainian, Israeli or International. Its more of a hybrid, evolution of thinking that becomes through adaptation to new environments around me.

Who and what inspires you ?
I think what inspires me the most is the constant changes around us. Of course I’m always looking back , at history of humankind , art history and my own roots , but those things are always in the back of head and they’re more like a library you to for reference . The everyday life , the news , the people , the city , all those things that change with me or without me are the ones that fascinate me the most . I think that’s one of the reasons I have this feeling and hope that I wont ever be able to accomplish myself as an artist , there’s way too many things I want to paint , sculpt and create in many other ways .

What do your work express about yourself ?
My work is probably the best way to see who I am and how I reflect my surroundings , as I’m not so good with words most of the time , I prefer to communicate with images, and only through viewing a large amount of my work you can understand something .

You released your first artist book with a lot of your photos and illustrations. Is it a self-published book?
Yes, Its self published , probably because

I always thought that the DIY way is the best way

and it assembled from 160 pages of images only in a hardcover . This book was a way for me to get away from all the big projects I’ve been involved with over the last year, like solo show and group show in Tel-Aviv museum, and focus on something more private . In a way this book is an attempt to bring you behind the scenes of  my work , get into my head , with all the weirdness that comes along . It assembles bits of work from past years and also work that was done especially for it.

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