For this Paris-born artist, reclaimed wood is the perfect canvas
David Szerer's new home inspires an amazing collection.
David Szerer wasted little time turning his new home into a creative muse.
The Paris native moved to Tel Aviv, Israel, just over a year ago and almost immediately started making art out of his surroundings, printing photos he took of the Mediterranean city with his Fuji camera and iPhone onto reclaimed pieces of wood. Thus began his burgeoning art project TLVWOOD.
An avid photographer, Szerer claims to have taken thousands of pictures of Tel Aviv since he started visiting in 2004. But, he said, the project actually started by chance.
"Walking home [one day] I found wood in the street at the foot of a building under construction – a wooden board that must have been part of a table dated to the 1960s," he told From The Grapevine.
Then the idea struck.
"I remembered the technique that I discovered in New York in 2002 that transfers Polaroids onto anything – TLVWOOD started then and there!"
It's a technique whereby he is able to transfer the pigments of the picture onto the pieces of wood.
I use a chemical product’s resin base that captures the pigments of the picture. After it dries for a certain period of time, I remove by hand, centimeter by centimeter, the support paper to leave only the ink on the wood."
The process is painstaking, and larger format images can take up to 10 hours to complete. But because of this, no two images are alike.
Ultimately it is the image that draws the viewer's eye first, but make no mistake: The wood plays a significant role in the final product, and it is a process of mixing and matching Szerer does not take lightly.
"I save all the wood I can find, and once they are cleaned and dry I keep them in my office or laying around the house before knowing what picture would be best to use on it," he told us.
Sometimes he might find a piece of wood and know exactly what image he wants to put on it. Other times it takes him weeks to decide what works best.
"It's a question of using the perfect piece of wood that will show at its best the photo, but at the same time bring back to life the wood itself," he explained.
Szerer, who worked as an art director in Paris before entering the food industry, hopes to open his own restaurant in Tel Aviv. He certainly won't have trouble finding art to decorate the space with – that's if he can keep from selling it all.
Szerer's photos start at $200 for the smallest pieces and run to $1,500. A price list will soon be updated on his website www.tlvwood.com.
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