Bicycle chain dogs

Nirit Levav is a multi-talented artist whose work includes sculpture, fashion design, jewellery and pottery. She was born in Tel Aviv and inherited a passion for using recycled material in her artwork from her mother Ilana.

Her father was the well-known Israeli set-designer Tzvi Levav and he taught her how to weld, enabling her to experiment with recycled materials in his workshop. She graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York and returned to Israel where she designed wedding and evening gowns from a small shop in Tel Aviv.

The business proved so successful that it led to the opening of additional stores and by 1995 Levav owned and managed a chain of bridal salons throughout Israel. After ten years she decided it was time to break away from her business and dedicate herself to art.

It was after a random visit to a bike shop that Levav’s career took another surprising turn. She was fascinated with the various bike parts and immediately began collecting old chains, gear parts, pedals and bells. From this collection of discarded material she started creating her dog sculptures.

Among the first off the production line were Princess the Afghan Hound and Lola the Mutt. Her real-sized dog sculptures are made entirely from discarded bicycle parts. Despite the use of metal, her sculptures appear surprisingly gentle and flexible. Her work has now been on display in Tel Aviv, New York and Florida.

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Mooky the Rottweiler – One of the first dogs to be created whilst Nirit Levav was designing bridal gowns and managing her chain of salons. Mooky was inspired by a Rottweiler that belonged to a neighbour shop owner. He is made of chains impressed in a special mix of potter’s glue.

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Paris the Poodle – Inspired by the socialite Paris Hilton – feminine, extravagant and likes to be the focus of attention!

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Othello the Boxer – Named after a canine member of the Levav family. The artist has captured the strong and stocky body, broad skull and a square muzzle of the breed. Othello is made out of bicycle chains, skilfully twisted into coin-like shapes.

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Lola the Mutt – Inspired by Nirit’s sister’s beloved dog Lola.

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Chika the Mutt – Nirit had playfulness is mind when she created Chika, her pose and facial expression are of a pup begging to be played with.

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Alvin the Labrador – Alvin was made for an exhibition in Tel Aviv with part of the proceeds being donated to the Israel Guide Dog Centre for the Blind.

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