When arriving in Tel Aviv, you may be tempted to walk straight to the art galleries and see all of the famous classical paintings that Tel Aviv’s museums have to offer. However, if you want to discover Tel Aviv’s true character, you would be remiss not to venture to the street galleries that fill Tel Aviv’s south suburbs. South Tel Aviv is famous for its street art culture; some commissioned by the Municipality of Tel Aviv, some underground. Either way, it is a beautiful and creative way to take abandoned buildings and make them into something enjoyable for the locals. The local street artists have taken a run down area of Tel Aviv and created something extraordinary, something that even the local government now supports. Here are just some of the most spectacular and thought provoking pieces you might see in the streets of South Tel Aviv.
Big Brother Is Always Watching
When walking around Tel Aviv, make sure to look up, as well as down and all around. Because as you’re walking in Florentine, you will notice a pair of eyes drawn on the top of a few buildings. There are many interpretations to the eyes in the sky, however many believe the artist is trying to warn us that someone is always watching; be it God, the Government, or anyone of the many spy agencies in the world. Take it whichever way you want, but the eyes certainly provoke enough thought to make you be wary of what is out there.
A Bandaid Over The World
When walking through Tel Aviv’s famous street art neighborhood, it’s difficult not to notice the huge (and also sometimes very small) images of band aids on the walls. They’re everywhere – sometimes hidden into other images, sometimes huge murals designed to provoke thought around issues of identity, belonging and loneliness. The artist examines our deep desire to escape reality either physically or spiritually and find a solution to our problems through the band aids. The artist wants us to examine the way we deal with difficult situations in our lives and to discover a way for us to heal ourselves. You can find them on many streets in Tel Aviv’s Florentine neighborhood.
The Forever 27 Club
You can’t include a blog about Tel Aviv’s street art, without including the famous ‘Forever 27 Club’ mural. The mural pays homage to popular musicians, artists or actors who died at the age of 27, including Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. The unknown figure on the right is believed to be a portrait of the artist, Kis-Lev, who at the time of painting the mural feared that he would one day join the 27 Club himself. There are a few rumors as to why Kis-Lev’s face is covered by pink paint; some say it is because he survived and didn’t become a member of the famous club, others say that it is because he was so disappointed in all that he hadn’t accomplished by 27. Either way, the magnificent mural deserves a pitstop in your graffiti tour.
A Comment On Society
Seen pasted all down Florentine’s famous Cordovero Street are many images combining the old and the new. The artist behind the satirical view of modern day life pastes images of quirky and sometimes even brazen social commentary. Tag’s art makes comments about the change in priorities in today’s world, set against the backdrop of classic paintings and pop references. He features references to classical cartoons such as Winnie The Pooh and Mickey Mouse, as well as historical figures such as Napoleon, all the way to the use of modern technology such as Instagram and Facebook. No graffiti tour is complete without a visit to these art masterpieces.
The Colorful Animals of Tel Aviv
To bring light to the harder days of our lives, street artist MR paints beautiful images of animals in all different shapes and colors. MR painted his art to look like stained glass windows and is a surprising view in the backdrop of the other images giving a social commentary on today’s life. The beautiful animal images may have a deeper meaning behind them, but on the surface level, just looking at these images in their most basic form is enough to calm you after a big day in the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv.
Want to discover more graffiti and find out the deeper meaning behind the street art and Tel Aviv? Join a tour! TLVnights “A story of a city” graffiti tour is a unique and original tour that combines an insider look of the local graffiti scene while telling about the history of the city.