Saturday, February 17, 2007

Know Hope

The glass towers, the restored buildings, the chic restaurants and the stock market boom are just one aspect of the story. Eventually, stark reality always punctures the so-called Tel Aviv 'bubble'. And if Tel Avivians, hooked on escapism, succeed in remaining immune there are always a few artists to remind us to ponder our existential situation. One is the anonymous street artist known as Know Hope who leave his ambivalent signature behind him.

And in the Nahum Gutman museum there is a retrospective by the late and much missed comics artist Dudu Geva whose characters resonated with the Israeli reality. One was the petty official Yosef, another was his 'everyman' Duck who, though inflicted with innumerable trials and tribulations, managed to survive with unflagging optimism. "Still optimistic' (adayin optimi) runs the caption under the exhibition's duck motif.

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