Maya Gelfman (born 1978, Israel) is a I’m a multidisciplinary artist, working at the seam between painting, installation and street-art.

A graduate of Shenkar College in 2006, she’s since had eight solo exhibitions. The Ninth will open on October 20th, 2022 in Vienna, Austria.

Among others, she has exhibited at: The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, National Gallery in Bangkok, By of the People Festival in Washington D.C. (in collaboration with the Smithsonian and the National Cathedral), ArtRooms Art Fair in London, Art Basel Miami, Tama University of Art in Tokyo.


In 2013 Gelfman gave a TEDx talk in Tel Aviv about her artistic process.

Her works have received the attention of the media, both in print and online, as well as in films and on TV.

They were published in three international art books in Germany, France and the U.S. 

And later on this year a fourth book, that focuses on prominent Textile Artists, will feature a work by Gelfman. Published in England, 2022. 

She’s a well-known street-artist, her signature technique of drawing with yarn on walls is considered unique.

In 2015 Paper Magazine named her among the top ten street-artists in Israel.

In 2009 Gelfman co-founded a public art project called Mind the Heart!. together with her partner, Roie Avidan (poet and photographer).

The project utilizes the practice of mindfulness to create site-specific works.

Between 2017-2021 the couple took it further and embarked on an public performance.

They invented the "serendipity experiment" which required them to let go of control over their lives, except for the act of creation.

They gave away their belongings, moved to live on the road and invited strangers to dictate their route, schedule, budget and next encounters.
For 4 years, 100,000 miles, 45 states, 8 exhibitions, 12 lectures, hundreds of works and thousands of human interactions.


Artist statement

My work deals with trauma and its presence in our lives.

It’s a research on the way external forces shape mankind, and more specifically women-kind.

Dealing with trauma began from a personal history but evolved into a deep artistic inquiry.

When I was four, I had lived through a near-death experience while undergoing an open-heart surgery.

My heart stopped beating, my body’s temperature went low, and a machine kept me alive.

Coming back from that threshold, realizing opposing forces such as life and death can co-exist, widened my perspective.


I create meeting points for seemingly opposing ideas - beauty that encompasses crudeness, weakness as a source of strength,

and disillusionment that feeds innocence. These dichotomies are informed by a desire for balance, release and healing.

Symbiosis is at the root of my practice, drawing upon schooled and automatic thought, ancient mythology and contemporary culture.

It is also what facilitated the decision to work with three mediums in two parallel fields - ‘white cubes’ and public spaces.

My installations are large, handmade with tangible materials, the paintings are mixed-media and the public interventions are presented as a performative action.

Breakdown of series:

The early Paintings ("Red Heart", 2007/8 and 2009) are naïve drawings of bodies and situations, subtle yet disturbing.

Minimalist figures floating in white spaces.

With time, layers appear ("Illusions & Reality", 2010-2012 and 2013), representing the struggle to resolve past, present and future.

In this slow Sisyphean process I also created the installation, working for months on a single piece.

The a shift took place, into a dance-like rituals. ("Release", 2014-2016). These works were done in one continuous session.

Each session took between a day to three days of working continuously.

Between 2017-2021 I immersed my life and art in an experimental performance. My partner and I (aka Mind the Heart! Project) traveled across the U.S.

and created site-and-time-specific works in public spaces.

Currently, I’m back in the studio, working on a new series of abstract paintings ("The Unimaginable Horizon", 2021-2022).

Informed by the radical changes of the last years and current affairs, these works deal with disintegration and reassembly. 

They represent a need to find order or at least a pattern in the lingering chaos.

CV & Resume


Born 1978 in Israel


Shenkar College, BA in visual communication

Solo Exhibitions


The Unimaginable Horizon, AG18 Gallery, Vienna, curator: Dr. Michael Schmitz


Form, Re-Form, AG18 Gallery, Vienna, curator: Dr. Michael Schmitz


Outside looking in, National Art Gallery, Bangkok, Curator: Rattapong


Split Ends, Tel Aviv Artist House. Curator: Raz Samira


Spark, Zadik Gallery, Jaffa, curator: Hana Coman

Process, Tel Aviv City Municipality Arts and Culture division, curator: Maayan Nevo


Rise!, Tsuk Gallery, Netanya, curator: Maya Kashevitz

Heartbeats, Weiss House, Tel Aviv, curators: Vera Pilpoul and Hagit Burnstein


Strings, Artists House, Tel Aviv, curator: Orly Hoffman

Group Exhibitions


Metamorphosis: The Place of the Past in the Present, CITYarts, Orlando, FL, USA


ARTROOMS, Meliá White House, London England

Radical Love, Crypt Gallery, London England


Wire/less Connections, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Vitrinart, The Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv

Grand Opening, Milu Gallery Hotel, Florence Italy


Stories the Streets tell, The Israeli Children’s Museum, Holon

Hamekarer, The Old Wholesale Marketplace, Tel Aviv

S2G, kulturkueche, Monchengladbach

Presence, Tirosh Gallery, Tel Aviv

Temporary Crew, St.Art Gallery, Tel Aviv


Slideluck III, Tel Aviv

Launching Meshuna, Meshuna Gallery, Tel Aviv


Testing Tools Festival #10, Beit Tami, Tel Aviv

Note to Selves, Container, Jaffa port

7F, 7th Floor, Tel Aviv

Base Colors #2, Israel-Lebanon border, Activism Art event at IDF military bases


Heroes in Distress, Art Basel, Miami, Overture/Scope art fair

Once I was a House, art event, Caesarea
Small Scale - 20\20, Zadik Gallery, Tel Aviv

Creation Cycle, Hangar 2, Jaffa Port

Free Art Friday, Tel Aviv

Spring Festival, Shapira Neighbourhood, Tel Aviv

Base Colors #1, Israel-Syria border, Activism Art event at IDF military bases

On the Fence #3, Jaffa

Love Art Make Art, Open Studio, Tel Aviv


Haifa Walks, Haifa Museum of Art

ZEMIKEA, Tsuk Gallery, Netanya

Mind the Heart, The Container, Tel Aviv
Sea Breeze, Artist Residency, Bat Yam

On the Fence #2, Jaffa
Mind the Heart, Dining Room, Tel Aviv
Ward Nasse, Ward Nasse Gallery, New York


Cannons & Muses, Tama University of Art, Tokyo
de:frost Festival, Jerusalem


Biennial #2, Herzliya

Secret Art #4, Beit Mani, Tel Aviv
Love Art Make Art, Open Studio, Tel Aviv

Tan, P8 Gallery, Tel Aviv I Declare an Art War, Shorashim Gallery

White Trash, Tel Aviv


It’s a Small Big World, Tel Aviv Museum of Art


Designers of the Future, Tel Aviv, Reading Power Station

International Woman’s Day, Tel Aviv University

Dialogue, Tzavta Theater, Tel Aviv


Collaborations & Public Actions (under Mind the Heart! Project)


TBD, ONKAF foundation, New Delhi, India


SEED, Rosa Foundation, Artist Residency, Krakow, Poland

Looking at Place, Katzman Contemporary, Dover, NH, USA

O/Art, fundraiser for Ukraine, Atlanta-Chattanoga, TN & GA, USA          


Introduce Yourself, Kliger Gallery, Lund, Sweden


The Poland Project, Sichow Foundation, Artist Residency, Krakow, Poland


New Poetics of Labor, Al camello camello y al amor amor, Espacio, Medellín, Colombia

MTH! in D.C. at By The People Arts Festival (Smisthonian, National Cathedral, Union Market,

~ Walter Reed & The Arc West, Washington, D.C.)

Bodies of Water, Site specific piece in the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR

The Spaces Between #1, JCC, Foster City, CA, USA

The Spaces Between #2, PJCC, San Rafael, CA, USA

MTH! in Houston, at the City Hall & Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX

Towards One: Site specific, permanent piece in Building 98, Marfa, TX


Be Here Now, Site specific, permanent piece in Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga, TN

MTH! in Hillary R. Clinton Library, Little Rock, AR

MTH! in Atlanta, at The Decatur Art Alliance, Decatur, GA

MTH! in Apopka, at the HCC, Apopka, FL

MTH! in Portsmouth, at Prescott Park & 3S Gallery, Portsmouth, NH

MTH! in Tel Aviv, Pilot for USA Tour at Beit Tami, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publications and Books

2022      Book, "Unravelling Women’s Art" by PL Henderson, England

2018      Book, "Al camello camello y al amor amor" by Cristina Velásquez, Colombia

2016      Book, "Wall, wall" by Dominque Lafon, France

2015      Book, "Street Messages" by Nicholas Ganz, Germany

2013      TEDx TLV Talk: "Creating out of not knowing" - the creation of SPARK Solo Exhibition >> to see the talk 

Press & selected articles:


Historic Building 98. Marfa TX, USA

Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga TN, USA

MILU Art Hotel, Florence, Italy

Herzliya Municipal Library, Israel

Lettenmayer & partners, Czech Republic

Goldman, Erlich, Gaver, Edelstein & Co. Law, Israel

M & M. Schmitz, private collection, Austria

R. Saker, private collection, Israel

B. Landa, private collection, Isarel

Hagit Bornstein private collection, Israel

C. Ilan private collection, Israel

A. Rosenfelder, private collection, Israel

K. Damon, private collection, D.C. USA

A. Center, private collection, TN, USA

A. Lapointe, private collection, NH, USA

T. Grayevsky, private collection, WA, USA

O. Shatil, private collection

O. S. Ben Sahar, private collection

S. Weil, private collection, Israel

S. Sternbach, private collection, Israel

J. Smouha, private collection, Israel

Karni-Cohen, private collection, TLV – London

H. Sanders, private collection, CA, USA

J. Raus, private collection, FL, USA

A. Harris, private collection, Israel

M. Nevo-Epelbaum, private collection, Israel

R. Alcalay, private collection, Israel

C. Reichenberg, private collection, Israel

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