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The Best Street Artists In South Tel Aviv

The Best Street Artists In South Tel Aviv
In South Tel Aviv, the streets speak to you. Poems and images from artists flood the city’s walls and alleyways, creating an organic open-air art gallery. Street art allows any passerby to become immersed in a dialogue with the artists and their work. We profile five of South Tel Aviv’s most prominent street artists, providing greater context to the ongoing conversation.
One of Adi Sened’s ‘Kufsonim’, box people. © Andrew Geller

Adi Sened

If you happen to be walking down the street and you notice a funny little character giving you the finger, it might just be one of Adi Sened’s box people, the kufsonim. Sened’s box people can be found in countless places all over the city. Adi Sened was born in Israel and had been painting since he was a child. While studying architecture at Bezalel and learning to use more complex techniques that enhanced his ability to express himself, his passion for art erupted and he began to pursue art as a career. Sened is a one of the pioneers of the street art movement, as he has been painting his kufsonim all over the city since 2000. He began putting his art on the street without thinking. He says that he just created a cool character, put it on some wood-cuts, and decided to post them in public places. He says, “It’s like the best gallery in town.” His advice to you is to “have fun in the open space because you can be intimate in a crowded space.”

Know Hope Courtesy of Andrew Geller

Know Hope

In the presence of Know Hope’s public work, you become a part of the art itself. His use of imagery and symbolism in his pieces causes an interference with its context and the dialogue that is created by this interaction is the art. Hope was born in California and moved to Tel Aviv when he was ten. His parents are artists, and while he never formally studied art he was always making and creating art in different capacities and methods. In 2004, he began putting his art in public places and it changed his cognitive perception of the creative process in terms of what kind of dialogue could be created through art. Know Hope’s work is based on translating his own observations of human interactions that he sees in everyday life into a universal representation. “I think that the only difference between an artist and somebody that doesn’t make art is that the artist consciously interferes and creates these situations, whereas people that aren’t artists are as much a part of it, just it’s not necessarily on such a conscious level.”

Signor Gi Courtesy of Andrew Geller

Signor Gi

Signor Gi’s art focuses on the theme of understanding identity within a dynamic social-historical perspective. His pieces enlighten you to the irony that is created when there exists a dichotomy between your inner-self and the self that you present to the world. Signor Gis is from Milan, where he studied history and philosophy. There, he started doing street art by painting over advertisements things like moustaches and glasses. He didn’t really think it was art, but did it more to rebel against the way that advertising imposes a societal pressure to live up to certain lifestyles. After moving to Israel, he studied graphic design and visual communication at Bezalel. His studies encouraged him to take on art as a career and helped him develop a style that includes unique typography and graphics. If you want to get to know more about street art in Tel Aviv, he recommends you to “just walk around the streets, especially South Tel Aviv, Florentin, but not only Florentin, but south Florentin, Kiryat Melcha…that’s an area where a lot of street street-artists paint or practice their style.”

Dede’s dental work on Tel Aviv’s iconic Dolphinarium. © imdede

Dede

When your mind begins to wander towards the problems of life don’t fear because Dede has a band-aid for you. He originally began experimenting with the symbol as a way to express and heal his wounds. The band-aid then became a symbol for all kinds of difficulties – personal and social – seeking remedies. Dede was born in Israel and began creating art at very young age. He carried that passion onto the street about ten years ago. Due to his longevity in the public art scene, you can see many variations of his style sprinkled all over Tel Aviv. Sometimes you will find variations of his bird stencils, and more recently you would be likely to find much larger pieces of two-headed animals. If you see the band-aid, you can be sure that Dede had something to do with the piece’s creation. His latest work included a redesign of the iconic Dolphinarium on the Tel Aviv beachfront to include a set of teeth.

Nitzan Mintz Courtesy of Andrew Geller

Nitzan Mintz

If from the shadows of some alleyway appears a poem that reaches out and delivers you a message, the message likely came from Nitzan Mintz. Nitzan was born in Tel Aviv and while she was in the army and she began writing poetry. She wanted to get her messages out, but was unsure how to go about publishing her work. In the publishing world, you need to be connected, and because she didn’t know how to access the relevant people, she started putting her art onto wooden boards and nailing them to electrical posts. Her work approaches a wide range of topics because, Nitzan says, she has “a million things to say, so every time it’s a different thing. Sometimes its like selfish poetry, sometimes its political poetry, sometimes its more philosophical.” Nitzan’s poems usually have a deep connection with the locations she chooses. Today Nitzan is a student of art and writing at Minshar. She has yet to formally publish her work in a book but continues to broadcast her message on the Tel Aviv’s streets. “People here in the street art scene work hard. They don’t have any money coming from anyone. The municipality does not support us. It’s still fresh. It’s still kicking. People really take their paint and do what they want so it is still from really from the heart, really artistic, and smart.”