Tel Aviv is a city characterized by the overt juxtaposition of old and new, high and low. When touring the streets of the city, it is impossible not to notice the sharp contrast between the refurbished modern buildings, towering next to old preserved houses, and fresh clean painted walls poised by bold graffiti and street art. Inspired by the city's spirit, an exciting new art space has recently opened in an historical preserved building from the 19th century called The Red House, situated in the heart of the Shapira Neighborhood in South Tel Aviv.
The building is one of the 30 well houses of Tel Aviv, once known as "The House of Sheik Morad". Up on the terrace is an ancient well and to the side of the building there is a pool that was used to collect water drawn from the well. At the end of the 19th century, the building was painted red, bestowing it with its new name "The Red House".
The once deserted venue was brought back to life and converted into a thriving art space. The Red House had an exceptional opening night, which was combined with an impressive exhibition displaying over 300 works of art made by about 100 different artists, and approximately 2000 visitors came to feast their eyes on the new trendy gallery and an eclectic selection of contemporary art.
The Red House hosted the Tiroche DeLeon & ST-ART Collection Residency Program.
The Residency Program was devised as a joint venture between the Tiroche DeLeon Collection and ST-ART – Serge Tiroche's Israeli art incubator in 2015. The program provides flights, accommodation, living expenses, working materials and a studio to work in. Visiting artists have the opportunity to meet with local artists, collectors, curators, gallery owners, museum directors and press. Previously, the Residence was at Tiroche's waterfront house in Jaffa but thanks to this new collaboration, the resident artists now reside in The Red House and have the chance to inspire and be inspired by the creativity and creation around them, and contribute to the Israeli art scene
The first artists to participate in the collaborated program were two young artists from Africa – Terrence Musekiwa from Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, and Mario Macilau from Mozambique. Musekiwa is a young sculpture, descendant of an ancestry of traditional stone sculptors who started creating at a very young age. His works recruit his traditional stone carving skills to produce sculptures that commentate on contemporary discourse regarding religion, history, tradition and daily turmoil. Mario Macilau is a renowned photographer that specializes in long term projects that focus on environmental conditions that affect socially isolated groups. His work is recognized with awards and has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
After two months of living, creating and prospering in The Red House, the two artists are prepared their final residency exhibition, which was displayed the unique body of works they have produced during their stay. The joint exhibition, called "Distanced", opened on December 10th at The Red House and embodied the peak of the collaboration between the Tiroche DeLeon & START Collection Residency Program and The Red House and display a unique body of works created by contemporary African artists in a Middle Eastern context.