Walking down the streets of Tel Aviv you can often enjoy the magnificent art gallery of graffiti and street art. This guide will help you navigate through the high amount of street art that can be found in city, for a “do-it-yourself” street art tour of Tel Aviv. If you are looking for a more in-depth understanding of the street art culture in Tel Aviv, we recommend our guided Street Art tour which is available every week for those who prefer to be guided through the works in a more structured way.
Background to Tel Aviv Street Art
Graffiti and street art can be found in almost every street in Tel Aviv, However it is most common in southern Tel Aviv, and the Florentin neighborhood in particular. Elifelet St, HaMehoga St, Abarbanel, 3361 Street & Hanagarim St, are hotspots for Tel Aviv street art.
While graffiti is illegal in Israel, the municipality of Tel Aviv turns a blind eye to works of graffiti work in certain areas, with the Florentin neighborhood being notable among them. A big part of the graffiti in this area is painted on the doors and gates of various businesses thus we recommend to walk around and explore during the afternoon, when most businesses are closed and the artwork is more easily spotted.
While most graffiti artists remain anonymous, you can very often recognize their work by their signature or by the theme of the artwork. The area we are about to explore is filled with graffiti work by known artists such as “Sened”, “Dede”, “know hope” and more, each have an artistic style that is unique to them.
Our ‘do it yourself street art tour of Tel Aviv’ will help you spot out main art pieces in south Tel Aviv. You can follow the map to find some of the most known pieces, and use the information provided to recognize specific artists and find more of their pieces throughout Tel Aviv.
Do it yourself Street Art tour of Tel Aviv
Follow our self-guided street art tour based on the map and the instructions below.
First Stop (stop “A” on the map). Walking down Simtat Shlush (Shlush alley), you can find artwork by some of the most well known graffiti artists in Tel Aviv. If you turn to the alley from Shlush St. (right after the bridge) you notice a construction site fence with lots of pieces.
SENED’S “kufsonim”. SENED is an artist living in Tel Aviv who earned his reputation creating figures known as “kufsonim” (mini-boxes), characters developed from an abstract of a cube from ready-made stencils that are spread all over the city. By contrast to most graffiti work, SENED’S work can often be discovered only by incredibly perceptive viewers.
Know Hope. You can recognize his work by the delicate little pigeon signature. Know Hope’s most famous work is that of a character wearing his hart in different positions. It is said that the location of his hart indicates the degrees of his life experience. A figure with a heart in place indicates no life experience, whereas a figure with his hart on his sleeve is vulnerable and more exposed.
Another work of street art you can spot at this stop are The Squirrels. the first of many pieces you will find by DEDE, a Telavivian artist whose work is easily recognized by the signature of his name on the bottom of the artwork. His early work was mostly made with stencils. Over the years, his work changed his style and has more free work, done on paper pasted on the walls of buildings. a prominent theme in his work are band-Aids, A symbol of wounds, hurt and healing, you can find pieces with Band-Aids all around Tel Aviv. Another common theme of DEDE ‘s work is wildlife, you can easily find cats , birds and fish on city walls and fences.
Alice in Wonderland saying “Spray Me”. After walking down Shlush alley and spotting the graffiti pieces mentioned above, you can go back the same way you came in. Notice on your way back a tall building with the character of Alice, from Alice in wonderland holding a can of spray that has a note on it that sais spray me. The piece was created by Jonathan Kis-Lev, a young Tel Avivian artist and a peace activist. He is mostly known for his street art in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which have granted him recognition in Israel, and have become part of major art collections. We are about to encounter more of his artwork ahead, notice his signature on the bottom right side.
Prime minister Binyamin Natanyahu sprayed on the corner of Shlush alley
Second stop (stop “B” on the map) Continuing down to Abrabanel St, Another work of DEDE appears on the metal door.
Third stop (stop “C” on the map) Continuing to our next stop on the corner of Harabi Mibachrach and st number 3361, we encounter a piece painted by a known street artist named Dioz. The painting took him 3 days to complete and he received help for business owners next door. In an attempt to add some color to Florentin neighborhood you can find many pieces by him in the area. Doiz also offers Graffiti tours in the Florentin neighborhood.
Fourth stop (stop “D” on the map) You can continue walking down street number 3361 and turn right to Ha-Mekhuga street. Where there are endless graffiti paintings. One of then being the work of Mr. DiMaggio, (Luca DiMaggio), an Italian graffiti artist who often visits Tel Aviv.
Fifth stop (stop “E” on the map) Returning to Abarbanel St, (we would advice to trace your steps and walk back the same way you came since there are pieces you don’t wan to miss in the upper part of Abarbanel St) You can find lots of graffiti art on the garage doors. Some of the main graffiti artist in Tel Aviv such as Untay, participated in a Street festival organized with the Hoodna bar just down the street , where live music was played and artists had painted all the garage doors of the businesses on the street. The business owners enabled them to light up the street with graffiti art and the result is amazing.
What can you find walking down Abarbanel St? A few steps after the corner of Harabi Mibachrach and Abarbanel St. you can find another wildlife painting of DEDE and some more of the “Kofsonim” (the characters developed from an abstract of a cube) that we saw earlier by SENED.
Former IDF soldiers sprayed the number 035 on walls and garage doors. The number 035 is the number of their units in the IDF and can be seen all over the city
Walking further down Abarbanel St. you can spot beautifully poems written and painted by an artist named Nitzan Mintz who beautifully combines between the art of writing and painting.
Spot another work of DEDE’s band-aids
Seventh Stop “I” on the map If you take a right turn from Abarbanel St to street number 3362 and walk through the alley you can spot on the corner a graffiti of Sarah Netanyahu, wife of prime minister BenjaminNetanyahu, pointing to a garbage can on the street. This piece was created by a couple of students following an image video of the Netanyahu family, which described the prime minister’s residence as old fashioned and unsatisfactory. During the video Sarah Netanyahu pointed to things in the house that require renovation. This piece is one of many graffiti works of Netanyahu at strategic points in the city, so it looks like she is points to various hazards, such as a homeless person sleeps on a bench, leaking gutter and so on.
Following SarahNetanyahu’s figure, you can return to Abarbanel St. and walk down. Don’t hesitate to take your time and walk through the alleys turning from Abarbanel street where you can find more graffiti work. Turn to Florentin street, where we will spot lots of pieces coloring the streets of the neighborhood between the coffee shops and restaurants. Florentin is an old neighborhood of Tel Aviv which hasn’t yet seen the same large-scale gentrification as the likes of its neighbor Neve-Tzedek. Florentin has a very mixed population, traditionally characterized by poverty and transience yet now is increasingly youthful, and yuppie. It is a neighborhood undergoing change, moving away from the margins in wealth terms, along the margins creating a center for arty and alternative culture. It is a symbol of south Tel Aviv, and is a fascinating area to walk through, contrasting to the modern Tel Aviv which dominates the rest of this city, and increasingly popular for its influence on the Tel Aviv nightlife.
Eighth Stop “J” on the map Turning right from Florentin St. to Chayim Vitaly St. you can spot some more garage doors beautifully painted.
The artwork was created by a group of four young men who started out in 2001 in Haifa. The fact that the group developed their art far from Tel Aviv allowed them to create their own personal approach. Today the Broken Fingaz Crew is one of Israel’s best-known graffiti collectives abroad. The four Haifa residents have spray-painted fresh and innovative pop-art murals in Europe, North America, and Asia. In 2004, they entered the world of graphic design and began to design and illustrate posters and flyers for parties in the Haifa area. These posters were very popular and consequently abducted from billboards. Following the high demand, they also began to design album covers, logos as well as a series of T-shirts.
Ninth Stop “K” On the Map Continue walking down Florentin st. Take a right turn on Haim Ben Atar street to find another artwork by Kis-Lev. The piece presents the “27 club”, influential rock musicians that died at the young age of 27of drug and alcohol abuse.
Tenth Stop “L” on the map Turning back to Florentin street and heading to the next stop where you can find an important painting on the corner of Florentin St and Washington Ave. The painting is an illustration from the video capturing the murder of prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in November 1995 during a peace rally, by a right-wing radical who opposed the peace process Rabin was embracing. The assassination of Rabin shock the Israeli public. Following the murder, rallies and memorials took place near King of Israel square, where the peace rally was held. Later the square was named Rabin square in his honor, and today it is known as a center for social and cultural events, symbolizing the essence of democratic values in the state of Israel.
A common graffiti in Israel referring to Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination. The words mean Goodbye friend. These are the words in which Bill Clinton, The 42nd President of the United States, ended his speech at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral
Tel Aviv, being the most liberal city in the Middle- East, where nightclubs are always open and everything is possible, attracts many young, talented artists. Walking around the streets of Tel Aviv you can find various artworks on building garbage cans and doors. The most important thing to remember is to look around and open your eyes to beautiful pieces waiting to be discovered by people passing by.
We hope you enjoyed our ‘do it yourself street art tour’ of Tel Aviv. Join our newsletter for weekly updates featuring our newest articles and some great offers and ideas for events and travel in Israel.
By Sapphire Stein