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Moody graffiti artist in a lovely pink dress.

crabby // guarded // passionate


Story: Catband
Setting: New York City, 2007
Created: 2003
Tunes

IRA (SAINT)

Full Name Ira Katz Age 26 Species Human
Graffiti Name SAINT Birthday February 6 Gender Male
Prefers Ira Zodiac Aquarius Pronouns He/Him
Character Group Les Revanchistes Religion Jewish Sexuality Gay
Group Role Worse ideas Background Turkish Jew Relationship Status Single?
Day Job Studio Artist Birthplace Turkey Living Situation ???
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"How do the leis make you feel? The leis should make you hate freedom."

- Theo

The Story So Far...

Ira and his best friend Theo (ESCAPE) are studio artists by day, and along with their photographer friend Luke (CHIEF), they're graffiti artists and urban explorers by night, prowling the illicit heights and depths of the city with Krylons and a Kodak. If they're unassuming in the daylight, they're infamous in the darkness as their personas SAINT, ESCAPE, and CHIEF, and the shadowy and mysterious photos of their adventures that Luke posts to his anonymous blog have the city captivated. When they run afoul of the NYPD, they get condemned as public enemies and terrorists, but it gives their adventures the mission they didn't know they were missing.

If it's "terrorists" the police want, the trio newly dubbing themselves Les Revanchistes are more than happy to play the part and give the city a good old New York show.

Of course, for the inseparable artist duo, there may be something else they didn't know was missing, and for Ira, more serious threats than the police...


The number one thing anyone could call Ira is passionate. He's stubborn, driven, and always bent to follow the flights of his own eccentric ideas. He tends to appear stoic, guarded, and wary; some would call him moody, but he's not someone who's ever worried what other people think of him.

He lives for his art, and he wholly transforms when he gets to perform and put on a public persona, becoming tireless, boundless, ecstatic. He loves pushing people with his art and provoking reactions-- which he sees as his work's real aim, not the works themselves. He has a thick wicked streak and he's eager to toy with people's expectations and ideas: of art, of himself, of how they see the world.

Ira's had bipolar since he was a teenager, and he has a complicated relationship with the disease. They may be the demons he's bound to, but they're also the demons he can harness, and regardless, they're the demons who make him who he is. Theo has known him the whole time, knows him better than anyone else does, probably even his sister, and he'll always be there to support Ira on his bad days. There's a deep understanding in that friendship, and Ira returns the favor, lighthearted about Theo's worries, but always sturdily and staunchly behind him.

Ira's wary of kindness he doesn't think he deserves, even when it comes from Theo, and his sense of self-worth varies wildly based what he's created lately. He's never easy on himself, and even when he seems carefree and silly, there's always a sober darkness needling at him from deep within.

Finest Moment

Ira is thoughtful and regularly remembers to do nice things for his studiomates' birthdays. Just don't make a big deal out of it, alright?

Lowest Low

He has a tendency to go off his meds when he's in the middle of a project and thinks he needs the mania for the rush, the creativity, the energy. It never ends well.

Height: 6'1"/185cm Build: Solid, thick
Eyes: Brown Hair: Red, curly
Handedness: Left Style: Unconventional

Ira and Theo are the same height, but Ira is large and solid while Theo is wiry and slim. In his everyday life, Ira wears something comfortable, plain and practical while working, though he works barefoot in the studio. He has deeply red curly hair, and he wears glasses.

When they run tunnels, he usually wears a muumuu (with shorts underneath), a hoodie with the sleeves cut off, boots, gloves, and kneepads.

If asked, he says the dresses are a performance art thing, but he just likes wearing them, and he enjoys the freedom of his alter ego being able to wear whatever he wants.

It's not visible in his refs, but he wears a kippah/yarmulke.

His weight fluctuates: he tends to gain weight when he's depressed or medicated, and he loses weight when he's in a manic episode and not eating.

Ira drinks way too much coffee and rarely seems to sleep, but when he does, he sleeps like the dead.

His interests include caterwauling his plans to the tune of Guided By Voices songs and marathoning old Bob Vila episodes of This Old House at high volume while working in the studio late at night. It's unsurprising to find any manner of strange radio or TV broadcasts blasting from his partition, but his musical taste is easy to predict: he has a thick stack of '90s lo-fi albums always in heavy rotation on his CD boom box, and his music is very important to him.

Ira struggles to keep any of them alive, but he has a few sad plants in his studio that he's been trying his best with.

Trivia

He hasn't done it recently, but Ira loves to swim and was great at it in high school.

Ira's oeuvre is weird sculpture made from collections and found objects, performance art that provokes reactions, and subversive, irreverent paintings. He works out of a huge, dilapidated ex-warehouse-turned-studio in Long Island City, Queens called the Paper Street Studios, along with Theo and their other artist friends.

By night, Ira and Theo are anonymously infamous under their graffiti tags and are collectively known as SAINT/ESCAPE or St./ESC. For street art, Ira's signature style-- and befitting his tag, SAINT-- is religious icon-style throw-ups under subway tunnel emergency lights. He likes the dark irony of being a SAINT with demons, and it's a theme he periodically visits in his work.

His art influences range from street art to religious art to modern/contemporary and performance art: some idols are Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, and Gilbert & George.

Ira's less worried than Theo is about how his art sells and about fitting into marketable aesthetics, but his work is sharp and clever and so is he, when he's trying to bullshit deep meanings to get people to buy it-- an art he's mastered as much as the rest of his skills.

His art does mean a lot to him, though-- and often too much. He's passionate and driven and it's easy for him to lose himself in his projects, neglecting himself for the "higher purpose" of focusing on his creation. He loves feeling powerfully, ingeniously creative: that's when he's in the studio for days, working, unsleeping and wild, until Theo eventually drags him away.

Guilty Pleasure

Ira's not really a coffee snob, but he usually sticks to the basics. Theo sometimes buys him some silly sugary concoction when he's doing badly, and he secretly likes it...

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Theo (a.k.a. ESCAPE) Best Friend / Partner in Crime / ???

Ira and Theo have been best friends since their first year of high school, and they're like an old married couple, almost always together and eternally bickering and harassing each other. They seem to have a bottomless well of inside jokes, and they can reliably be found engaging in rapidfire word association jabbering that no one else can understand. Ira tolerates Theo's demonstrative physical affection like an unhappy cat... but he silently or not-so-silently frets over his riskier stunts. To everyone's surprise, the two aren't actually dating-- yet-- but their friends have bets on how long it will take the pair to figure it out.

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Luke (a.k.a. CHIEF) Good Friend / Partner in Crime

Luke is Ira and Theo's close friend and the third member of Les Revanchistes, a photographer who documents the crew's adventures. He's theoretically the leader, but man of mystery that he is, he wanders and does his own thing a lot of the time, leaving the pair to their own devices. Make no mistake though, any of them would go to war for either of the other two.

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Azra Sister

Azra is Ira's big sister, and their parents' favorite-- she's responsible, upstanding, and has her life together in all the ways Ira doesn't. He resents their favoritism, but he and Azra are close anyway, and she looks out for her baby bro.

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Zoë Friend / Studiomate

Zoë is a friend from the art studio they all work at, and along with her girlfriend Sandy, one of the studio Moms. She's closer with Theo than Ira, but they're friendly, and she's always around to offer a kind word or some advice.

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Sandy Friend / Studiomate

Sandy is another friend from the art studio, and along with her girlfriend Zoë, one of the studio Moms. She and Ira are close, often on the same wavelength when it comes to high-energy, absurd ideas. She knows Ira well and isn't put off by the things he does to cope.

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Kat Studiomate

Kat is another art studio friend. Ira doesn't know her as well-- she's fairly quiet-- but they're friendly.

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Marianna Studiomate

Marianna is another art studio friend. Ira doesn't know her as well, but they're friendly.

Coding by hedgemaze, lowkeywicked, & WeltDerAthanasie // See gallery for image credits

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