Biography

 

Maya Gelfman (born 1978, Israel) is a visual artist. Her main mediums are installation, painting and street-art. A graduate of the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in 2006, she’s since had seven solo exhibitions. The latest at the National Art Gallery, Bangkok and the 8th one is upcoming this coming fall in Vienna, Austria.

Group exhibitions include: Israel National Museum, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Haifa Museum of Art, The Herzliya Biennial, Overture Art Fair (Art Basel Miami), Tama University of Art (Tokyo), Ward Nasse Gallery (New York) and Art Rooms (London).

 

Gelfman’s works have received media attention in print and online, as well as in films and on TV. In 2013 she gave a TEDx talk in Tel Aviv.

Since 2009 she is also an active figure in the global street-art scene, where she is best known for her tangible work and the unique technique of drawing with yarn on walls. In 2015 Paper Magazine named her among the top ten street-artists in Israel, and her works were featured in international art books in Germany and France.
Gelfman has a collaborative public-art project called *Mind the Heart! (see info below).

 

* MTH! Project is a collaboration by Roie Avidan & Maya Gelfman. It started in 2009 in the streets of Tel Aviv. In the past decade, the project has reached more than 100 cities across 5 continents. The project strives to get audiences to BE HERE NOW through tangible street installations and public interactions. The project worked in dozens of venues, from the Israel National Museum and the National Cathedral in D.C. to back alleys in New York and orphanages in Kenya and Uganda.
To name a few: City of Houston TX, Washington National Cathedral D.C., The Smithsonian D.C., Rice University TX, Hillary Clinton Children's Library in Little Rock AR, Building 98 in Marfa TX, Creative Discovery Museum TN.

CV & Resume

 

Born 1978, lives and works in Israel

Education

Shenkar Academy, BA in visual communication

Solo Exhibitions

2017

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

2016

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

2013       

Spark, Zadik Gallery, Jaffa, curator: Hana Coman

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

2012       

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

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

2010       

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

 
Selected Group Exhibitions

2017

ARTROOMS, Meliá White House, London England

Radical Love, Crypt Gallery, London England

2016      

Wire/less Connections, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, curator: Daniella Shalev

Vitrinart, The Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, curator: Dana Gilerman

Grand Opening, Milu Gallery Hotel, Florence Italy

2015      

Street Art, The Israeli Children’s Museum, Holon

Hamekarer, The Old Wholesale Marketplace, Tel Aviv

S2G, kulturkueche, Monchengladbach, curator: Silke Muller

Temporary Crew, St.Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, curator: Nitzan Mintz

2014      

Slideluck III, Tel Aviv, curators: Casey Kelbaugh and Ari Fruchter

Launching Meshuna, Meshuna Gallery, Tel Aviv, curators: Oren Fischer and Anton Avramov

​2013​      

Testing Tools Festival #10, Beit Tami, Tel Aviv, curator: Carmit Blumenzon

Note to Selves, Container, Jaffa port, curators: Maya Gelfman, Adi Reznick and Gidi Gilam

7F, 7th Floor,Tel Aviv, curators: Mati Ale and Oz Madar

Base Colors #1, Israel-Lebanon border, Activism Art event at IDF military bases,  curator: Oren Fischer

​​2012​      

Heroes in Distress, Art Basel, Miami, Overture/Scope art fair, curators: Craig Dershowitz and Rei Dishon

Once I was a House, art event, Caesarea, curators: Sharonna Karni Cohen, Sophie Green, Deborah Shahar
Small Scale - 20\20, Zadik Gallery, Tel Aviv, curator: Hana Coman

Creation Cycle, Hangar 2, Jaffa Port, curator: Gil Zeevi

Free Art Friday, Tel Aviv, curator: Uri Yariv

Spring Festival, Shapira Neighbourhood, Tel Aviv, curator: Noam Wenkert

Base Colors #2, Israel-Syria border, Activism Art event at IDF military bases, curator: Oren Fischer

Love Art Make Art, Open Studio, Tel Aviv, curator: Maayan Nevo

​​2011      

Haifa Walks, Haifa Museum of Art, curator: Ruti Direktor

ZEMIKEA, Tsuk Gallery, Netanya, curator: Maya Kashevitz

Mind the Heart, The Container, Tel Aviv, curator: Maya Gelfman
Sea Breeze, Artist Residency, Bat Yam, curator: Adi Yekutieli

On the Fence #2, Tel Aviv, curator: Shunit Gal
Mind the Heart, Dining Room, Tel Aviv, curator: Itamar Faluja
Ward Nasse, Ward Nasse Gallery, New York, curator: Harry Nasse

​2010      

Cannons & Muses, Tama University of Art, Tokyo, Curators: Sakiko Yamaoka and Premshay Hermon
de:frost Festival, Jerusalem, curators: Hila Vugman and Naama Israel

​2009      

Biennial #2, Herzliya, curators: Adi Englman, Meir Kordevani and Toony navok

Secret Art #4, Beit Mani, Tel Aviv, curators: Amir Polak and Esti Drori
Love Art Make Art, Open Studio, Tel Aviv, curator: Maayan Nevo

Tan, P8 Gallery, Tel Aviv, curators: Anna Bershtansky and Rakefet Viner Omer
1.2.3.4 I Declare an Art War, Shorashim Gallery, Tel Aviv, curator: Shiran Shafir

White Trash, Tel Aviv, curators: Amanda Mehl, Inbal Limor and shameless

​2008      

It’s a Small Big World, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, curator: Sara Raiman

​​2005-07  

Designers of the Future, Tel Aviv, Reading Power Station, curators: Israel Designers Organization

International Woman’s Day, Tel Aviv University

Dialogue, Tzavta Theater, Tel Aviv, curator: Shachar Kober  ​

 

Publications and Books

2015

Book, "Street Messages" by Nicholas Ganz, Germany

2016

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

 

2013

TEDx TLV Talk: "Creating out of not knowing" - the creation of SPARK Solo Exhibition

>> to see the talk 

2016

ARTiculAction, 23.3.16, Dario Rutigliano (London) Barbara Scott (San Francisco)

iTravel-TLV, 3.2.16, Nechama Winston (NYC)

2015

Paper Magazine, 15.5.15, Nneya Richards (NYC)
Suitcase Magazine, 28.4.15, Alexander Moussaieff (London)

10 minutes, on the Israeli channel 1 (PBS)

2014

Ha'aretz, 15.1.14

2013

Jerusalem Post, 8.12.13, Dominique Ariel Hendelman

Time Out Tel Aviv, 28.11.13, Lee Feller

Juedische Allgemeine, Germany  17.1.13, Sabine Brandes

2012

Ma'ariv, 18.3.12, Ruti Kadosh

Globes, G Magazine, 13.1.12, Roy Beit Levy, Merav Zachs

>> to see more Selected Articles

Collections

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

Rivka Saker private collection

Patti and Benny Landa private collection

Hagit Bornstein private collection

Amina Harris private collection

Maayan Nevo-Epelbaum private collection

Oded Shatil private collection

Omer Shani private collection

Revital and Ran Alcalay collection

Sandra Weil private collection

Sivan Sternbach private collection

Anthony Rosenfelder private collection

Jeremy and Sabine Smouha private collection

Karni-Cohen private collection

Herzliya Municipal Library

Artist statement

 

When I was four years old, I had a near death experience while having an open heart surgery.

My heart stopped beating, my body temperature went low, a heart-lung machine kept me alive.

Coming back from that threshold, I knew that opposites are bound together and that I encompass both.

It left me fascinated with edges and yearning for meaning. 

 

My work is born from that same simultaneous sense of vertigo and stability. It deals with dichotomies that stem from a personal history but aims to reflect a wider observation on the world. A realization that one reality can embody many and there is no one definition. The truth is endlessly evolving and expanding.

 

I examine the impact of traumas and how formidable forces shape mankind, since the dawn of time, specifically women-kind. I would argue that the familiar existential struggle against "larger-than-life" events and external powers is essentially an internal one. Through my practice I’m trying to reconcile conflicts and contradictions such as beauty that encompasses crudeness, weakness as a source of strength and disillusionment that feeds conscious innocence.

 

I strive to weave together past, present and future. But more than a coherent story I’m fascinated with transformation and the process itself. The works are an embroidery of a new mythology in which I am both myself and a representation of femininity. I perceive a studio as a cross between a womb and a lab. 

In that physical and metaphysical space I mix medias, fragments of visions and schooled thought. And like an intense ritual I find myself in a Sisyphean pursuit to enable for something new to occur - symbolically, conceptually and tangibly.

Above it all, it’s not about me. I have a distinct feeling that there is something beyond me, a life force, which I can’t put into words but I can channel into art. To that I am forever committed.

An introduction to the body of work:​

The early works (“Red Heart”, 2007-09) are naïve drawings of bodies and situations, subtle yet disturbing. Minimalist figures floating in white space.

With time, layers appear (“Illusions & Reality”, 2010-13). Through intricate drawings and installations

I struggle to weave together the past, present and future. In recent years I’m fascinated with transformation (“Release”, 2014-19).

The Sisyphean process evolved to a new set of rules, which dictates different materials, gestures and speed.

The new paintings are large and expressive, made in one continuous session, like an intense ritual.

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