Israel has many things to be proud of; we have a host of amazing scientists, we are the ‘Start Up Nation’ with many many new high tech businesses opening every month, and a variety of talented and imaginative artists and musicians. Our art scene isn’t just limited to the big and expansive halls of museums and art galleries, theaters and music venues. Our art has flowed out into the streets; where you can enjoy the imagination and creativity of local artists for free and at your own pace.
One of our most famous street artists is Dan Groover. He is so well known because his art isn’t only adorned on the streets of Tel Aviv, but also in Jerusalem and the northern regions. His work is a collaboration of color, intricate style and imagery and messages that are inspired by real life.
Dan is an Orthodox Jew, who was born in Israel but moved to France at a young age. When Dan was 14, he was inspired by the hip hop and burgeoning graffiti scene in France and so started creating his first street art pieces in the poorer suburbs of Paris. In fact, there was even one time when someone shot at him with a gun while he was painting in a parking lot, because they thought he was trying to steal a car.
In the late 90s, Dan transitioned from street walls to canvas, when he moved to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Inspired by the simple, yet vivid imagery around him, he started painting art pieces which propelled him into the wider world as an accomplished artist and led to international success and recognition. This success led him to collaborate with big names, the first of which was creating the stage design for James Brown’s Caribbean Tour.
Though he became, and continues to be, an international success, Dan never forgot his roots and he returned to Israel 22 years ago where he went back to creating street art for the locals to enjoy. His art style transformed from humble styles of the Caribbean to new styles inspired by the Kabbalah, American pop culture, daily Isareli life, jazz and other experiences he gathered from the streets of Jerusalem where he has since made his home.
Since moving back to Israel, Dan has been acknowledged as an artist providing inspiration to many young and upcoming artists in Israel. Though his art can now be bought in galleries all around Israel, including in Jerusalem, Tzfat and Tel Aviv, he continues to create art for free on the streets to inspire the youth of Israel. So much so, that his work and presence has even been recognized by former Isareli president Shimon Peres.
If you would like to see Dan’s art for yourself, join us on our “A story of a city” graffiti tour where we will take you to some of his famous art pieces.