Israel’s best known graffiti crew are in fact multi-disciplinary, working in illustration, muralism, animation, graphic design and fashion design. Originating from Haifa, a city that works hard to remain graffiti free with nothing enduring on the walls more than a few days, they say has taught them “not to get too attached to your works and constantly reminds you that it’s just paint on wall.” In a capitalist, consumerist world, I find this a refreshing outlook to encounter. Broken Fingaz murals are less concerned with the materiality of art, and more dedicated to the act of creating, and the artistic processes and journey’s within the artist’s mind, in addition to the meditation motivated in the viewer.
With graffiti and street art being a fairly new artistic outlet in Israel with no background or previous generation leading the way, there are no rules, as such, to follow. Instead Broken Fingaz were able to experiment freely, inventing their own art and technique. This is reflected in their distinctive style of fresh and innovative pop-art spray painted murals found across the world. Their intricate and in-your-face, vibrantly coloured, comic-book-like images significantly differ from the majority of street art found over Europe and America. This is why I particularly admire their works and find them so refreshing to engage with.
“In general you could say our work relates to funky apocalypses, cannibalism, acid, animals and psychedelic experiences.” Many Broken Fingaz images are gory and brutal, yet illustrated in funky colours and patterns, generating a sense of hilarity and making them more pleasurable images to look at than the subject matter might otherwise suggest. Their visual ideas are influenced by everything around them, continuously capturing their surroundings. They can be seen to absorb and assimilate cultural influences that then infiltrate characteristics of their artistic output. Consequently their images become increasingly globalised as the crew travels, with notable influences from India, Mexico and obviously Israel.
Although claiming to not be political, their art often entwines spiritual motifs and icons with concepts of Western capitalist advertising. They make statements through emotive imagery, repetitive language and bright colours that are used in both religious iconography and capitalist advertising, as propaganda, influencing and manipulating the viewer. Broken Fingaz explore the power of image making and its diverse manifestations across the world, remarking on how images surround us, influence us and ultimately control us. Through their choice of subject matter they constantly draw parallels between East and West, exploring the power of visual representation as a form of mind control.
I find the widespread artistic outputs of Broken Fingaz highly motivating and energising and it’s very exciting to have them involved with Art on a Postcard.
About the writer
Tara is an Art Foundation and History of Art graduate born and bred in London. She has travelled the globe extensively, immersing herself in the vibrant arts and cultures the world has to offer, and hopes her next adventure will take her to India! She is currently teaching English as a foreign language whilst enjoying volunteering at Art on a Postcard, and she hopes to break into the art world!