When we traveled around Israel in January we met two other backpackers in a hostel. The one´s name was Israel. That´s wired. Israel travels through Israel. His friend´s name was Israel as well. More strange. But then, after we asked what exactly they are planing to do on their journey and after they told us, that they are graffiti artists and on a kind of a streetart roadtrip, then it was clear that there has to be an article about these guys.
Israel Elizondo´s sprayername is SHENTE. He comes from Tijuana and is cofounder of the HEM Crew (Hecho en Mexico). The crew did a lot of nice murals and paintings in Tijuana, Mexico and in projects around the world in the last decades. During their trip the two artists are going to do some streetart with local sprayers and want to put some more color on the walls over there. Haifa and Bethlehem have been stops on the route where they did some work. Especially the wall to Palestine near Bethlehem needed a lot more paint.
SHENTE works in Tijuana with other sprayers to make the whole picture of the city nicer in their personal way of doing. Meanwhile the artists get (in most of the cases…) permission to spray where they spray or have an authorization to do their projects officially. Because of the longtime working and becoming more and more professional the artists developed a network and connections which makes it definitely easier to do the paintings. And of course the residents like the reformation of sad and miserable bridges or grey storehouses.
To paint the huge murals you need a good crew, time and tranquility to concentrate on the work. If you get disturbed every half an hour and you have to run away from the police it would take ages to finish such a graffiti. If there is enough time and patience it’s possible to paint as well on a different level and with more quality. Especially the teamwork is an essential factor in the process of the artwork and it is as well the heart of the crew. That´s how it should be.
SHENTE meanwhile works as one of the elders with the younger artists and newbies. He supports their talents, teaches them knowledge and tricks and tries to give them opportunities to get away from the street. In a very interesting interview he tells us about the graffiti culture in Tijuana, the HEM Hecho en Mexico Crew and the artprojects in Israel.
Last year SHENTE sprayed with other artists from HEM a wonderful mirror. The flowers, bees and the bird look much nicer there then the dirt before.
Have a look on a making of video of a graffiti by SHENTE and his colleagues DUAL and SPEL ONE:
And here another video of SHENTE and the HEM Crew in action: