Graffiti in Tel Aviv: Underground Street Art
In recent years, a growing number of people see graffiti not as property vandalism, but as underground, protest street art.
As the artistic capital of Israel, Tel Aviv is home to many talented, inspiring, graffiti artists. Their creations can be seen on the walls of countless buildings around the city, especially in its southern, underdeveloped side. Florentine and Nachlat Binyamin neighborhoods are the heart of the Tel Avivian graffiti scene. A walk in these neighborhoods and their surrounding streets is an eye-opening experience, rich with unusual street art, and thought-provoking messages. Here are the top graffiti artists whose creations you will probably meet…
Eitan David AKA ED: Words of Protest
Words are ideas which are usually written down on a paper. In ED’s case – the words are sprayed on concrete walls, in Tel Aviv’s southern side:
“Don’t drink and drive, you may spill it”
“Suffering is also an experience”
“Getting kicked in the ass is also a step forward”
Coming up with childish-yet-witty phrases is his signature move. His messages are often word-play on common concepts and expressions, with the familiar words serving as eye-catching hooks.
Michal Rubin: Animal Kingdom in Downtown TLV
This artist is known for her colorful, graphic animal paintings: sprayed goat, childish giraffe, trippy cats… her creation is varied, detailed and inspiring. With the help of her spouse, animator Damien Tab, she decorates the urban landscape of Tel Aviv with dreamish, vivid animals from all over the world.
The Missk: Images and Words
This artist actually resides in Florentine neighborhood, which probably makes her nocturnal painting sessions much easier, logistically speaking. Her signature style is giving satirical interpretations of popular songs, with cartoon-like paintings alongside verses from the familiar songs. For instance, next to a dark 4-eyed figure she writes “I think you’re freaky and I like you a lot”, quoting Die Antwoord. Next, adjacent to two blob-shapes she writes “I’m in love with the shape of you”, quoting Ed Sheeran.
What is the real message behind these graphic messages? That’s for anyone to guess.
Oren Fischer AKA Fish Air: Street Picasso
This multi-talent artist is the owner of a local gallery called Meshuna: a world play on the Hebrew words ‘bizarre’ and ‘movement’. A veteran graffiti artist, and one of the most active ones around. His creations can be seen on many walls, electricity panels, and basically any flat surface on the southern side of Tel Aviv. His style ranges from Picasso-level painting to stick figures. His messages are always controversial. For instance, his famous “Map of Florentine” (which he painted on an entire wall) includes an icon which represents different locations in the neighborhood – a plate for a hummus joint, doggy litter, annoying traffic jam, marijuana bud to represent the location of a supplier, and more.
ToDoTLV offers two different Graffiti Tours in Tel Aviv, the first explores Florentine Neighborhood, the second explores Nachlat Binyamin. Discover the less-traveled side of Tel Aviv, dive deep into the Tel Avivian way of life. Book your place today. For details click here.