top of page
Anchor 14


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

A graduate of Shenkar College of Art & Design, in 2006, she’s since had eight solo exhibitions. The Ninth will open on October 20th, 2022 in Vienna, Austria. Gelfman has also participated in numerous group exhibitions. 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, Art Basel Miami, Tama University of Art in Tokyo and in the Smithsonian and the National Cathedral, Washington D.C. USA (As a part of By of the People Art Festival).


Her works were featured in the media, both in print and online, as well as in films and on TV. They were published in four art books: in Germany, France, Colombia, U.S.A and England. In 2013 Gelfman gave a TEDx talk about her artistic process, sharing the stage with Tel Aviv’s prominent women leaders.


​She’s also a well-known street-artist. Her unique technique of drawing on walls with tangible materials (yarn, foam, duct-tape) is her signature.
In 2015 Paper Magazine named her among the top ten street-artists in Israel. Back in 2009 Gelfman co-founded a street-art project called Mind the Heart!, with her partner, Roie Avidan. Since then it reached over 100 cities across 5 continents.

In 2017 Gelfman & Avidan embarked on The Serendipity Experiment - a 365/24/7 performance in public.
Their aim was to create works that are informed by the “here and now” – reflecting the influence of a certain place, time and of the people there.
For this purpose, they committed to the unknown as their guiding artistic tool, by relinquishing control. They donated all their belongings, moved to live in a van in a foreign country, and asked strangers to dictate their route, schedule and next encounters. At each point they were sent to, they created a public work. The experiment was planned to last one year but ended up lasting four, spanning more than 100,000 km (60,000 miles),
in 45 states across the U.S.A. as well as other countries.


Artist statement

My work deals with trauma and its’ presence of in our lives. The physical and emotional impacts of trauma are heartbreakingly omnipresent

in our culture, as individuals and as societies, but I ask myself: can they also serve as a beneficial catalyst as well? A gateway to profound realizations having to do with power and choice?


Dealing with trauma began from a personal history. As a child, I 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. Experiencing the visceral connection between life
and death informs the way I work today.

My works investigate the way external forces shape inner worlds. I create meeting points for dichotomies - beauty that encompasses crudeness, weakness as a source of strength. By juxtaposing seemingly opposing ideas I search 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 created 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 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. 


Between 2017-2021 I immersed my life and art in an experimental performance, along with my partner. Together we traveled across the USA,
for 4 years, 100,000 km (60,000 miles) creating site-specific works in public spaces. These years herald another big shift in my practice. 

Currently, I’m back at the studio, working on a new series of paintings ("The Unimaginable Horizon", 2021-2023).

Informed by living and working on the road for five years, of which two in the pandemic. At least as impactful was dedicating myself to “the unknown” as an artistic practice for those five years. It changed the way I perceive stability, home, possessions, necessity. It altered the way I live and, subsequently, create. To find out more please visit: Mind the Heart! Project


My new works are abstract, after years of creating figuratively. A transition that correlates to the profound changes in my life mentioned above.
These paintings deal with disintegration and reassembly and can be read as It can be read as a form of cartography, maps to the subconscious, to hidden places, blocked paths, and new roads.


CV & Resume

Born in 1978, Israel

2001-2006, graduated with a BA from Shenkar College

Mediums: Painting, Installation, Street-art

Website: / Email:

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, 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:


Artists of the season, at the Core Dance Company, Atlanta, USA (April-May 2023)

TBA, at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Residency, Shanghai, China (2023)

No time to loose & SEED, at the Roza Center for International and Interdisciplinary Art, Krakow, Poland (2022)

The Poland Project, at the Sichow Foundation, Krakow, Poland (2019)

Public collections

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

Herzliya Municipal Library, Israel

* A list of private collections will be given upon request.

>> back to Home

bottom of page