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Anchor 14


Maya Gelfman (b. 1978, Israel). Graduated from Shenkar School of Art & Design in 2006.
A multidisciplinary artist: painting, installation and street-art.
Exhibited nine solo exhibitions in Israel, Europe and Asia, and participated in dozens of group shows. Among others at the Israel National Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, The National Gallery in Bangkok, Art Rooms Art Fair in London, Overture Miami Art Fair (Art Basel Satellite), Tama University of Art in Tokyo, The Smithsonian and National Cathedral in Washington D.C (By The People Art Festival).

Featured in the media, print and online, films and TV, and published in four international art books: "Unravelling Women’s Art, England, 2022”,
“Al camello camello y al amor amor, Colombia, 2018”, “Wall, wall, France, 2016”, “Street Messages, Germany, 2015”.
In 2013 Gelfman gave a TEDx talk about her artistic process, sharing the stage with Tel Aviv’s prominent women leaders.

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

Back in 2009 Maya co-founded a street-art project with her partner, Roie Avidan called Mind the Heart! Project, that reached over 100 cities
across 5 continents and exhibited extensively. Gelfman's unique technique of drawing on walls with tangible materials (yarn, foam, duct-tape)
and Avidan's poetic approach to photography and wordsmithing are the project's signature style.

Between 2017-2021 the duo created The Serendipity Experiment - a 365/24/7 performance in public - spanning 100,000 KM (60,000 miles),
in 45 states, all across the U.S.A.

This journey entailed committing to intentional wandering and the use of the unknown as a guiding tool.  
To enhance these guidelines they donated their belongings, left their home and traveled to a foreign country, and invited strangers to dictate their route, schedule, and next encounters. At every location that they were sent to, they created a site-specific work. Culminating in hundreds of works, meaningful interactions, exhibitions and lectures.


Artist statement

My work investigates different facets of trauma, both on an individual and systemic level. Through it I explore a foundational query:

Can traumatic events also serve as beneficial catalysts, gateways to profound realizations having to do with power and choice?

While researching trauma began from a personal history, the impact of traumatic events is omnipresent in culture at large, which fuels my artistic explorations even further.


As a child, I lived through a near-death experience while undergoing heart surgery. Experiencing that visceral connection between life and death informed the way I work today. I understood at an early age that opposing forces can, and often do, co-exist. It initiated an inquisitorial approach to contradictions and inspired an artistic-somatic practice. Integrating art making with meditative (felt-sense) practices allows me to come face to face

with my mortality, and the fear, pain, vulnerability, resilience, life-force and joy it invokes.


External forces shape inner landscapes and I believe that, while more nuanced, the same can be said vice versa.

Dichotomies may initially appear contradictory - notions such as weakness as a source of strength or beauty that encompasses crudeness -

but they can form a symbiotic relationship. By transforming these confrontations into a creative process, I seek to find agency, balance and release.


My work is grounded in the idea of Symbiosis. It's multidisciplinary in every aspect, from the mixed-media materials all the way to how they are made and where they are being exhibited. This also facilitated the decision to work in two parallel fields – the ‘white cubes’ and the public spaces.

In both arenas, the works are handmade, tactile, and conscious of their space. In the streets, they’re created as a performative action, reacting to

a specific location and point in time. In the studio, the canvas is laid on the floor and the marks are intrinsically connected to the body’s sensations

and movement.

* * *

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 these years I practiced a slow Sisyphean process, in which I was working for months on each piece. 

Then a change took place, and my practice shifted into a dance-like rituals. ("Release", 2014-2016). These paintings were done in one continuous session. Each session took between a day to three days of working continuously. 


The Serendipity Experiment 2017-2021

Between 2017 to 2021 I was immersed in an experimental performance. Together with my partner I traveled across the USA, over 100,000 km (60,000 miles), creating site-specific works in public spaces, daily. 

Living on the road for four years (of which two in the pandemic), all the while dedicating myself to “the unknown” as a guiding tool, herald another big shift in my process. It changed the way I perceive stability, home, possessions, necessity. It altered the way I lived and subsequently, the way I created.

The Unimaginable Horizon 2022-2023

Thus, my return to the studio in late 2021, uncovered the tantalizing realization that this journey of serendipity, fundamentally changed my work. Inspirations and techniques that I had previously relied on now felt rusty, irrelevant. I couldn’t just pick up from where I left off, but rather, had to allow the full breadth of my experiences to manifest directly onto the canvas. Free of the need to adhere to one "coherent" idea, an uninhibited creativity was unleashed. So far, I’ve painted fifty paintings, intuitive works that represent a form of cartography – to places within and without, familiar and unknown –they can be read as maps to blocked paths and new roads.


CV / Resume

Born in 1978, Israel

2001-2006, graduated with a BA from Shenkar School of Art & Design in 2006

Mediums: Painting, Installation, Street-art

Website: /  |  Email:

Solo Exhibitions


Bodies of Work, ONKAF Gallery, New Delhi, India


The Unimaginable Horizon, AG18 Gallery, Vienna, Austria


Form, Re-Form, AG18 Gallery, Vienna, Austria


Outside looking in, National Art Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand


Split Ends, Tel Aviv Artist House, Israel


Spark, Zadik Gallery, Jaffa, Israel

Process, Tel Aviv City Municipality Arts and Culture division, Israel


Rise!, Tsuk Gallery, Netanya, Israel

Heartbeats, Weiss House, Tel Aviv, Israel


Strings, Artists House, Tel Aviv, Israel

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




Artist in Residence, at Swatch Art Peace Hotel Residency, Shanghai, China (June-September)

Artist in Residence, at Windgate Residency, KSU University, Georgia, USA (September-October)

Artists of the season, at the Core Dance Company, Atlanta, USA (April-May)


NTTL & SEED, at the Roza Center for International and Interdisciplinary Art, Krakow, Poland (June)


The Poland Project, at the Sichow Foundation, Krakow, Poland (Feb)


Halcyon House fellowship, Shortlisted



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


Wishing Wall, Georgia Highlands College, Cartersville, GE, USA

Mantra, Mural, Core Dance, Atlanta, GE, USA

Bodies of Work, Solo Exhibition, ONKAF Gallery, New Delhi, India


SEED, Rosa Foundation, Artist Residency, Krakow, Poland

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

O/Art, fundraiser for Ukraine, Atlanta-Chattanooga, 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, Aurora Metro books, England

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

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

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

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

* Curitorial texts:

   Press & selected articles:

Selected collections

Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China

Historic Building 98. Marfa TX, USA

Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga TN, USA

Lettenmayer & partners, Czech Republic

MILU Art Hotel, Florence, Italy

Magdas Hotel, Vienna, Austria

Margot & Michael Schmitz, Vienna Austria

Herzliya Municipal Library, Israel

Rivka Saker, Caesarea, Israel

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