Tel Aviv is home to many great art institutions, for example the Tel Aviv Museum. But it also hosts local artists who boldly turn streets into their own art galleries. Most of them are working under a pseudonym but due to a particular style or repetitive motifs they can be recognised fairly easily. So let’s meet the most intriguing street artists of Tel Aviv!
Probably the best-known outdoor artist operating today in Israel, Dede has been covering walls with his graffiti creations for over a decade. While the inspiration for his nickname is unknown (maybe it’s based on the Dada art movement?), he definitely has a specific fingerprint. He paints impressive wood-like animals both in the streets and in his studio. He is most famous for his iconic simple black and white band-aids paintings, which he also sells online through crowd-funding. Dede often collaborates with another local artist, Nitzan Mintz, who writes graffiti poems.
Addam Yekutieli (AKA Know Hope)
Perhaps invisible at first sight, Yekutieli’s delicate drawings are scattered all over Tel Aviv. Those who look carefully will find in different corners of the city some skilfully drawn human-like figures wearing stripy sweaters. Like Dede, this artist operates both outside and in the studio. Working in the Israeli art scene since his early twenties, Yekutieli’s current project is about scars and the stories behind them. In the studio, he creates artworks in a variety of media, from print-making to wood-carving.
Different visual artists and designers came to become this unique Tel Aviv-based collective. With the idea to make “down-to-earth culture” in mind, Prettimess often hosts exhibitions in various locations. Though each artist has their individual style, works by the collective are usually colourful and bright.
Brothers of Light
Nowadays, more and more artists base themselves in cities outside Tel Aviv. The siblings Elna and Gab, who are also part of the Prettimess Collective, work together in Jerusalem under the name “Brothers of Light”. Inspired by the rich history of Jerusalem, Elna and Gab defamiliarize the traditional imagery by putting it in a new context. Their works can be found also outside of Israel, in countries like Portugal, South Africa and France.
The Separation Wall, Bethlehem
Sometimes street art emerges as a protest to government policies. In 2002, the Israeli government built a 700 km long wall in the region of Jerusalem, explaining it as for security purposes. For the past 16 years, the wall has been separating the Israeli and the Palestinian populations and has been criticised by both sides of the conflict. In recent years, this political issue has taken also an artistic turn: both local and foreign graffiti artists started painting the Bethlehem section of the wall. The Separation wall also attracted the biggest name in contemporary street art- Banksy.