Impossible to miss the street-art scene in Tel Aviv! The white city owes its attraction to its urban life – coffee places open 24/7, terraces always crowded, majestic buildings standing next to old houses dating back from 1930 – and the paintings, murals, poems on the walls that are captivating the bystanders are an integral part of it.
Most of Tel-Aviv’s street-art is taking place around the south of the city, from Bialik Street. The street artists devote themselves to their activities in the back alleys and the abandoned places as well as the main arteries, creating a huge open-air art gallery where the dialogue with the curious people can start.
Here are five names to remember:
From designs illustrating Israeli society facets to the giant mural on the Dolphinarium, going through the Band-Aids painting all over the city, Dede (or Dede Band-aid) does not go unnoticed in Tel Aviv. If he got to street-art when he was still in the army, to express his opinion about military service, he takes today his inspiration from the daily talks between the Israeli people. To the question “Why the Band-Aid?” he replies that it’s “a way of expressing and healing one’s wounds. The Band-Aid has become a symbol for all kind of difficulties – personal and societal – seeking remedies”.
If, during your stay in Tel Aviv, you stumble upon weird creatures, you can be sure that Klone (or Klone Yourself) is their creator. This artist from Ukraine has started to do graffiti in order to appropriate and make more familiar his new environment, after his immigration with his family when he was 11.
Behind the Kufsonim, those little geometrical and colored characters that inhabit Tel-Aviv’s streets, the street artist Adi Sened is hiding. Their creation dates back to 1997, while Adi was still studying architecture. It’s only three years later that he has started to paint with stencils his funny characters, generally in couple, on the walls of the streets to express his thoughts and feelings. Smile guaranteed if you come across them!
If Adam Yekutieli has never studied art, he has yet, since always, created a lot of arty pieces. This 30-year-old Californian guy, in Tel Aviv since the age of 10, is mainly known under the name Know Hope and for his unique character glued all over the city. The figure represents the human vulnerability, and its development allows creating a long-term relationship with the spectator. According to Know Hope, the street gives a second meaning to his pieces created in his studio and the look of the passerby brings a third one.
“I don’t need to present my work in a closed place because I can do it in the street. Street-art is beautiful: when you see a piece of street-art you stop and you think – it changes your daily routine”. These are the words of Foma, young 30-year-old Israeli woman, from Moscow, who embarked on street-art after the end of her fashion studies. Today, her street-art takes two directions: painted self-portraits working as a ‘personal diary’, and black and white pictures of herself where she is wearing a mask, and where words painted in red – “what legs!” “Come for two seconds!” “Why aren’t you smiling?” – express the street harassment that affects daily women. Food for thoughts…