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This week at Summit LA19, Pilpeled has created to participatory paintings for visitors to take part in. The Israel artist and graphic designer’s work is immediately recognizable in black-and-white murals around the world. You’ll find his paintings on the streets of Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere.
For three days, Summit-goers will have the chance to meet the artist, make their mark on his work, and connect. Whitewaller asked Pilpeled about his process and message.
WHITEWALLER: Can you tell us about the project you have planned for Summit LA19?
PILPELED: I am very excited to take part in Summit LA19. I made two paintings that represent my art, make people smile, and leave a part for the imagination with characters that give hope.
I decided to create children that hide their eyes, with a mixture of game and playful vibe. You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their eyes, but in this artwork, you can’t really see the children’s eyes, they are looking at the world through their own made up glasses.
It’s part of a series of paintings that I’ve been doing for the last three years around the world and I love the fact that people take pictures with them while doing the same gesture with their own hands.
WW: How are you hoping visitors to Summit LA19 will interact with the work?
P: We are placing two big paintings outside for people to take part in. I am going to create the outline of the painting and people can come, grab paint, and brush and start drawing together. It’s like a huge coloring book.
WW: Can you tell us about your creative process? Where does a piece typically start?
P: I have been drawing for a lot of years and every time it begins from a different place and inspiration. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head from nothing and sometimes I’m feeling the need to create something new and it can take a week of searching and trying until I’ll draw the first line.
When I’m working on a mural, I take under consideration that it will be on the street for anyone to see, so I’m looking for something powerful but respectful that will catch the people’s eyes but won’t insult someone. And most of the time for a mural, I’m going for something optimistic that will make people happy.
After choosing an idea I start to sketch, figuring out the final painting and polish it on photoshop. Then I make the outlines with a marker pen and fill the paint with brushes.
WW: Do you approach your public work differently from your studio work and sketches?
P: Definitely. When I’m working on an outdoor work I want to create something that stands out but also makes people happy. When it’s outdoor I’m keeping the style and signature look of my work that people would recognize.
When I’m working in the studio it’s much more personal and I’m always trying to stretch the boundaries and to look for different directions and styles.
WW: Outside of Summit LA19, what are you looking forward to seeing and doing in DTLA this week?
P: Every time I come to Los Angeles, I get a lot of inspiration from the feeling of endless freedom and blue sky that represents LA, and search for exhibitions and concerts.
This time I’ve decided to rent a motor home for a month and after Summit I’m traveling to northern California to enjoy the beautiful nature until heading to Art Basel in Miami Beach.