Nitzan Mintz is an artist and a street-poet while Dede is an urban narrative artist. They live in Tel Aviv, usually work together in some truly amazing projects and constantly seek inspirations to create more in their home town or abroad. Read on and get the opportunity to find out much more about this unique artistic couple! (ISSA) – What would you choose to drink right now? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
Nitzan: A glass of cheap red wine.
Dede: Soda, I’m old…
-Introduce yourself with three words …
Nitzan: Female visual poet
Dede: Urban narrative artist
– Where does your tag name come from?
Nitzan: I’ve always used my full real name signing pieces in the street.
Dede: Dede is a famility nickname, my visual tag, the band-aid, is a symbol of fixture that I used to express personal difficulties.
-How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
Nitzan: Visual poet / street poet.
Dede: I’m an artist, my source of inspiration are the streets and the public sphere.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
Actually, our stories are pretty similar… We both started creating pieces in the streets (separately of course) during our military service, which was a difficult time and complex experience. It made us both feel pressured and depressed and we both found an outlet in creating in public. A decade later we have been working intensively in Tel Aviv and cities around the world. We each developed a signature and language of our own and we still work on developing ourselves and finding new challenges.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Nitzan: Eat the breakfast that Dede made me.
Dede: Make breakfast for Nitzan.
For the past five years we’ve been partners, and gradually collaborate more and more as artists.
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
We listen to a lot of music while working on our art and gathering inspiration. Here are some of our local favorites:
(at this point we can suggest you to pick one the above music links to escort you while reading the rest of the interview)
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you?
Nitzan: Music encourages me to write my poetry, that’s mostly inspired by human struggles I have witnessed or experienced. Also, the city Tel Aviv, where I was and raised, is a continuous source of inspiration, the shapes in the landscape, the changes around, from the architecture to the people occupying the city. I’m also inspired by other artists, from all forms of art especially Jenny Holtzer, Hanoch Levin (an Israeli play writer), Kazimir Malevich and Robert Rauschenberg.
Dede: My main source of inspiration has always been the city landscape, the public sphere. What interests and catches my attention in it can change from place to place and from to time. It can be people, visual culture, architecture… abandoned buildings and construction sights are my favourites!
-What is the hardest part for you, while working on a piece of art?
Nitzan: I take my work very seriously, maybe a bit too seriously so sometimes I struggle with going with the flow of things, and can give myself a hard time, being judgmental and critical towards myself and my work.
Dede: Forming the conceptual background and framework for a new piece.
-Do you have an artist you admire and what for?
Nitzan: The artists I mentioned as sources of inspiration.
Dede: Alexander Calder is a favourite, I also like Rauschenberg, Warhol and Picasso.
-Which cities do you think are the most inspirational in Street Art?
We mostly travel together… The cities with the most inspiring street art we recently visited were NYC, Paris, Lodz (Poland), Vienna and Prague.
-Do you have other passions apart from art?
Nitzan: I’m very into make-up, unfortunately…
Dede: Not really…
-Do you have a wild project that you dream of achieving some day?
Nitzan: I really want to publish an artist book about my visual poetry.
Dede: Put a bandaid on the moon.
-Tell us about your art, does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
Nitzan: The words in my poems are definitely symbols and metaphors. The letters can be seen as repeating patterns although each poem and each location are a special combination that form a site-specific message that my piece carries. It’s the same for my studio pieces, they are always meant to communicate something through the combination of text and visual elements.
Dede: I work in series that are based on different images I develop. Some have been with me for a longer time and have turned into icons that carry a message and are a symbol for something. For example the band-aid – a symbol of fixture, or my wooden animals – a symbol of excessive man-made developments and a search for shelter. The site-specific projects I create often send a message that is based on the location and it’s narrative. I convey this message by highlighting certain shapes I can see and bring out to the viewers.
– How long time do your works usually survive for?
Some works disappear or get damaged after a couple of hours, but we’re lucky to have some pieces from 5 years ago still in good shape.
-What do you think people first think or feel when they see one of your works on the street?
Nitzan: Some people feel a strong connection to the messages in the poems, and through me they feel companionship, like they’re not alone in their struggle. Others don’t connect at all, don’t get my message and even are angry about the words I write.
Dede: I’ve been lucky to gather several stories from the people that become familiar with my ongoing work. These stories include a variety of emotions and thoughts that people experience when they see my work.
-Do you have a secret you would like to share with us? 🙂
Nitzan: When I first approached Dede and wanted to go out he didn’t want to (And now look who makes me breakfast every morning for the past five years). / :))))
-What are your creative plans for the future?
2018 has a bunch of exciting projects, hopefully a few commissions here in Tel Aviv and in Europe, another group exhibition for us both, and hopefully substantial time in NYC.
-Is there a specific thought or message you would like to pass to our audience out there?
If you have a blank wall and a nice place to stay anywhere in the world – say hey and we’ll be on our way (;
Thank you guys! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and persons behind such talented and inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.
Artist Links: Dede , Nitzan Mintz
(Main photo credit: Pavlina Schultz)
leave your comment