Photography

Meet TLV On Wood

by Eyal de Leeuw | 18.08.16

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Once in while, its important to look at your life, your city, through another person’s eyes. David Szerer moved to Tel Aviv a little more than a year ago from Paris where he was a freelance art director for nine years and specialized in the food industry for six. In the future, he wishes to open a restaurant in Tel Aviv but for now he listens to the city, observes its people, its light and rhythm. After capturing his images on camera he transfers them on found wooden surfaces and the result is new and familiar at the same time.

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Telavivian managed to chat with David in between his quest for new wooden surfaces to ask him what Tel Aviv means to him?

Hi David, what is it that you like the best about Tel Aviv?

I love the mornings here. The light that is different every single day. It feels like it’s a different sunrise day after day week after week. The ambiance that is in this city is unique and different and hard to describe… but it is so calm and relaxed even in the center of of the city.

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How did you start the tlvwood project and why?

I was actually looking for a place where I could print big pictures on wood. While visiting one of photo labs here, the sales man said “if you like you can bring us your wood” and that is what clicked! Walking home, I found wood in the street at the foot of a building that was under construction. A wooden board that must have been a table dated back to the 1960s. I immediately took it, but thought it would be a waste to use it to print something on. I remembered this technique that I discovered in New York in 2002 that transfers Polaroid photos onto anything….tlvwood started then and there !

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Thanks to the transfer of Polaroid that is done with chemical film, I use chemical product’s resin base that capture 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 variety of the support and the manual technique used makes every piece unique in its self. A big format can take up to 10 hours of work before putting the polish on it to fix the picture and get a finished product.

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How do you choose the right wood to go with the photo?

I have a collection of about a little more then one million photos of Tel Aviv that I took between 2004 and this morning! I save all the wood I can find, and once they are cleaned and dry I keep them on site in my office or laying around the house before knowing what picture would be best to use with it. It’s a question of using the perfect piece of wood that will bring out the best of the photo but at the same time reveal the life the wood itself.

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As we we speak, I have three wooden drawers from 1971 that I got in the north of Tel Aviv, in a building that was being renovated. They are laying around the house and its taking me few weeks to know what visually will be welcomed on it.

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You can find David hunting for wood and good images in the city or view his developing project at www.tlvwood.com.

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