2Create is a new project by Yoav Litvin that gives readers a closer look into the collaborations of different artists and street art murals all around New York City.
This vibrant book holds interviews with each artist containing their background, their process when creating, and thoughts on artistic influences and the benefits of doing a collaboration.
We spoke to Yoav to learn a bit more about the book!
How did you come to write 2Create?
Being an avid street art/graffiti fan and passionate about its documentation, I comprised my first book Outdoor Gallery – New York City in 2014. I noticed there were quite a few collaborative duos working on the streets and was intrigued by their creative process of cooperation and growth through sharing. I also realised that there was no book, which documented the processes of these artists. 2Create merges a documentation of process with the art of collaboration!
The book focuses on nine different collaborations from artists ranging in style and age and is filled with high-quality pictures not only of the finished product but work in progress shots as well, while the artists were working together. Each artist has a unique process and story to tell and 2Create does a great job of sharing their stories while also looking deeper into their art and artistic processes.
Aside from your role as photographer/documenter, did you contribute to any of the collabs?
I produced quite a few of the collabs – meaning, arranging for the wall, materials and coordination of details. Otherwise, all photography is mine and editing of the artists’ interviews, as well as work on the design with designer Dan Michman (the book has already received an award for the cover design). My art is photography and writing, and I have not developed painting, though I’d love to at some point.
What did you learn about street art whilst working on the project?
The streets of New York reflect the diversity within this incredible empire city. So many communities from all over the world! When walking the streets one learns about the rich traditions and cultures of the various communities simply by talking to people. I love street art and the way it interacts with its surrounding, cross-culturally. In our crazy times, street art often reflects the real, unfiltered, un-doctored mood of the people – a real pulse of the city!
What was your favourite piece and why?
All the pieces are my favourite. I know that response seems like I’m being diplomatic- but it’s true! Each and every piece is unique – utilising different mediums on multiple surfaces – collage, murals, screen printing, and stencil work on walls, trucks and subways, throughout Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The collaborative relationships are so very different, with a range of rewards and challenges, and they’re reflected in the artwork.
Reading the interview, the reader is provided with a window into the past of this incredible art genre through the experiences of some of its top representatives. What’s more, my hope is that reading about successful collaborations will encourage and inspire others to work together – the rewards far outweigh the challenges!
How did you find artists to work with?
I know the artists from working on my previous book Outdoor Gallery and from the NYC street art/graffiti scene.
How important is street art to the identity of NYC?
Depends on who you ask. If you ask an artist (or hipster) from Bushwick s/he will say “crucial”, but if you ask a Wall Street executive I’m sure they won’t even know what you’re talking about.
That said, there’s still a vibrant scene, which includes local artists as well as out-of-towners who come to produce work in New York because of its richness. New York is still one of the centres of the art world and attracts the best of the best.