In Israel, space is limited, but it doesn’t have to limiting. Take for example Dani Machlis from Be’er Sheva. The photographer recently discovered that owning his own gallery wouldn’t cost a fortune if he built it into his own living room.
Repurposing space in the home is not only spendthrift, it is environmentaly-friendly in our books. This way the “artiste” can spend more time on his/her muse and less on traveling to the studio, which are often set up in an industrial wasteland.
Transforming space is big in cities like New York and Japan, where a one-bedroom studio apartment functions as a bedroom, living room, and even office in some cases.
Machlis recently said in a Haaretz article, “I dream that someone who comes into my gallery will realize that you don’t have to invest funds in an additional appartment, and instead establish a similar venue in his own home. That will start a domino effect.”
Machlis’s dream is to develop the Old City of Be’er Sheva and turn it into a Neve Tzedek of sorts– which is a neighborhood in south Tel Aviv’s gentrified Yemenite quarter. He recognizes that slums can be turned chic with a little bohemian touch. And he is trying to do just that in the working class city of Be’er Sheva.
A few decades ago, an artist’s colony once thrived in his neighbourhood, he says, but it has been since was swallowed up with the proliferation of malls.
And while the living room gallery or artist’s studio in a house is a new idea, he hopes it is a concept that will catch on in the Negev city down south.