Candy for the Eyes, Abstract for the Soul

She rides a longboard, has a thing for tennis balls and loves painting murals on walls-  get to know the mixed media artists Kate Frizalis (or should we say- Physalis..?) Take a peek into Kate’s studio in Tel Aviv and dive into her world of bright colors and yummy textures. It’s candy for the eyes and abstract for the soul!

Name:
Kate Frizalis

Occupation:
Fulltime artist

Media:
Acrylic & oil paintings, sketches & art on paper, graffiti murals & digital art.

Most inspiring objects in your studio:
A giant sponge that I bought in the Arab market and dyed in pink, plants, tennis balls. 

Favorite artist:
Jean-Michel Basquiat

"If spontaneity is a method than It’s totally mine."

Favorite song:
My musical preferences change almost every hour. Right now it’s Tommy Cash- Winaloto.

Favorite color:
White

Now try to describe this color in words:
Freedom. All-absorbing, colorless, clean, new.
Imagine a space in which there is nothing inside and you can fill it with your imagination. Early morning, when the city is still quiet and fresh and you are looking forward to a new day … It’s like the smell of fresh laundry. It feels like a cold wall in a hot day, like ringing ice in a glass of water.

A childhood memory you will never forget:
Summer holidays spent with my grandparents in the village. I can recall these moments for hours, plunging into them. They still nourish me with inspiration.  The similar childhood memories were described precisely by Ray Bradbury in his novel “Dandelion Wine”.

A funny story you that happened to you recently:
It was when Denis (my partner) and I drew a small abstract piece on one of Tel Aviv’s walls. Once we were done, people working in the building kept saying it’s beautiful, asking if we could continue painting the whole wall. We immediately agreed while they brought us paint and tools. Our mural grew in size when one day we noticed a police patrol was watching us. It did not occur to us to escape or to worry since we were sure we had permission from the owners of the house. We simply thought it was legal.

We had a nice chat with Mr. Policemen while he asked us to pose for him against the wall for the photo, adding that the drawing was beautiful. A couple of days later we got a big fine by mail.

When we were back at the place to take down the painting and erase everything we’ve done, the people working in the building asked us to keep it. They offered to help us and wrote a response letter to the mayor’s office in order to cancel the fine. It was a huge support group and a fun experience that ended in a collective victory.

The bravest thing you’ve ever done:
I left all my relatives and friends and moved to the country where words are written backwards.

Your favorite person:
My partner Denise. He’s my biggest supporter and believer. Together we are a gang. He’s the one I go to the beach at night with looking for stones or inspiration. He always has my back even when we run away from the police after drawing murals illegally.

What do you do on weekends?

Saturday mornings in Tel Aviv are pretty quiet. It is the best time to paint on walls. Sometimes weekends are no different than weekdays- I paint, walk, sometimes I ride a longboard, meet with friends, go to exhibitions, I just live…

Why art?

'Making art is my way of living, exploring and interacting with the world around me.'

Who is your favorite public figure?
Andy Warhol

What question would you ask yourself?
‘Kate- What day is today?’

You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
I’d be a color that changes – depending on my mood.

What does ‘Frizalis‘ mean?
Well, I honestly don’t know, but it sounds like Physalis …

Favorite street in Tel Aviv:
Tel Aviv can be very different, each district has a completely different vibe and it constantly changes. To understand this you’d have to walk along the boulevards, visit Jaffa, Florentine, go to the beach, get lost in the streets of Neve Tzedek, buy fruit at Shuk Hacarmel and spices at Shuk Levinsky. You’d also have to visit somebody’s roof…

Why tennis balls?
I’m not a tennis player nor a tennis fan. I just love the tennis ball itself since it’s a bright and attractive object.  His touch, feel and terrible smell interest me. I’d like to see it as the symbol of the game of life. We do the pitch, then we return a ball. This is such an ongoing process, the interchange between the world and humans.

What’s the hardest thing about being an artist?
This is a difficult question. Recently, I’ve been thinking that the hardest thing is the art system and how it works. Inside this formal system there are young artists that are very dependent on curators, art dealers, art consultants and various conservative art institutions. Sometimes it just seems it’s too hard to break this system. It often turns out that many art institutions don’t make any connection between the artist and the viewer, but a rigid barrier instead.

Alternatively, thanks to the internet, social networks and to a new generation of curators, the artist-viewer communication balance is restored in different alternative ways. This is truly amazing for emerging artists.

Describe your ‘dream-collector’?
I’d love it to be just anyone!
Sometimes I envy my own artworks because they travel to places where I haven’t been yet. It is interesting to observe how the work itself connects me with completely different people from totally different countries- so let it be a surprise ¡

Something we don’t know about you?
My vision is not perfect, sometimes I see worse, other times it’s better. It might sound strange, but I do not buy glasses just to keep the abstract perception.

A favorite technique to use:
I like to use several materials at once. I get such jazz from acrylic, spray paints, scraps of paper, colored pencils, markers, oil paint. Some materials are more soluble or dominant, for example, oil paint. I like to use baking tools and squeeze oil paint onto the canvas. Sometimes I just get a cleaning brush and paint with it, other times I feel more like colored pencils and paper.