Broken Fingaz are a world-renowned graffiti collective from Haifa, Israel. Since their founding in 2001, its members Unga, Kip, Tant and Deso have worked prolifically on the international art scene, with a practice that extends to graphic design, music, film and installation. Their work has been exhibited in major galleries in the native Israel including the Haifa Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv Museum. As the first graffiti collective emerging from Israel, Broken Fingaz Crew's unique visual aesthetic has its roots in their native city of Haifa, though over a decade of travelling has lead to an absorption of cultural influences from both East and West. The BF’s unique and amalgamous visual aesthetic reflects the rootless culture of their homeland within the contentious Middle-East and has created a strong identity for Israeli underground culture.
Using bold lines and acid pop colours, Broken Fingaz’ work visually alludes to ‘80s comic book illustrations and pulp horror. Their distinctive subject matter explores themes of sex and death as a means of understanding human nature and the human condition. By confronting viewers with controversial and sexually explicit imagery, Broken Fingaz draw in notions of the abject through a confrontation with the baseness of humanity and the suppressed desires at the heart of society. Bodily dismemberment, mutilated limbs and skeletons represent not only death but the need to understand our bodies and the hidden, unseen side of our corporeality.
In both style and subject matter, their work is also heavily inspired by Japanese Shunga woodcut prints and paintings. In their recent work, this has been combined with motifs from Indian spirituality, interrogating the duality between the sacred and profane through symbolic imagery. In this way, their art feeds off a tradition in the East where art has long been used to express the imperfect, primal side of the human spirit. With their transgressive themes, Broken Fingaz’ intention is to shock the viewer. This is made more significant with their work in the street, as private desires invade the public space.
Enigmatic and mysterious, the hallucinogenic imagery of Broken Fingaz’ work provokes a visceral reaction that disturbs conventional identity and notions of the self. In this way, their work represents a return to truly subversive public art – a practice in which undermining the foundations of social order was once a founding principle.
Broken Fingaz will open a show entitled Galactiko at Howard Griffin Gallery Los Angeles in June. It will be the first exhibition for Broken Fingaz at the Gallery and also their first exhibition in the States. A large scale installation based exhibition is planned taking in Eastern and Western influences.