Graffiti artists bring 'youthful color' to Knesset

Six artists from delegation supporting Israel paint graffiti outside Knesset in Jerusalem.

Artists painted graffiti outside the Knesset. (photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Artists painted graffiti outside the Knesset.
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Six artists painted graffiti outside the Knesset as part of a delegation expressing support for Israel.
The group was brought to the Knesset on Wednesday by Artists 4 Israel on an all-women trip that coincided with Purim and Women’s History Month.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein called the visit “a beautiful, powerful initiative” and thanked the artists for their work and love of Israel.
“We came to add a little youthful color to the proceedings,” Artists 4 Israel executive director Craig Dershowitz said.
Artists paint graffiti outside the Knesset. (Lahav Harkov)Artists paint graffiti outside the Knesset. (Lahav Harkov)
The artists painted their “tags,” or graffiti signatures – CBS Reds, Hops, Merlot, and 179 – in blue and white, along with a Star of David. They also chose two images out of family photos MKs gave them – a grandmother of one and daughter of another – but would not divulge who they are.
Earlier in their trip, the group visited a bomb shelter in Ashdod and led art therapy activities with children in a nursery school. In addition, the artists painted with 2013 Miss Israel Yityish “Titi” Aynaw in Netanya and visited the Jordan Valley, where they painted a new artists colony in an old Jordanian Army camp.
“We supported a new community of Israeli artists and turned ugly reminders of war into canvasses,” Dershowitz stated. “We want to increase understanding of Israel as a place with artistic and cultural freedom.”
Angelina Villalobos of Seattle, one of the six graffiti artists to paint the canvas posted in front of the Knesset, said visiting the bomb shelter in Ashdod was “intense.”
“It was important for us to create a comfortable space for these children,” she said.
Despite rocket fire in the South and mixed responses to her visit, Villalobos said she would recommend other artists come to Israel.
“With all the politics and passionate opinions people have, you have to know this is a tense situation,” she explained. “[Artists should] do their research so they can defend their motives, but still be open to learning.”
“I want to process what I see and have an educated opinion, instead of being disconnected and only knowing what’s happening through the media,” Villalobos said.