Biography

 

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 As a part of By of the People Art Festival in the Smithsonian and the National Cathedral, Washington D.C. USA.

 

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 (wool) is her signature. 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!, with her partner. Their project creates site-specific works that reached over a 100 cities across 5 continents.

Between 2017-2021 they created the "serendipity experiment" committing to an ongoing 24/7 performance in public. Their aim was to be informed by the “now” - and to reflect the fleeting influence of a place, a specific time and the people there, in their tangible works (installations, murals and photographs). To that end, they gave away their possessions, home and studio, traveled to a foreign land and let strangers dictate their days for a whole year. They surrendered control over their route, schedule, finances and logistics, all the while creating site-and-time-specific works daily.

For 4 years, 60,000 miles, 45 states, 8 exhibitions, 10 lectures, hundreds of works and thousands of human interactions.

 

Artist statement

My work deals with trauma and its’ presence of in our lives. It investigates the way external forces shape mankind, and more specifically women-kind.

The more I research how traumatic events impact us as individuals and as societies, the more I understand how deeply rooted it is.

 

Dealing with trauma began from a personal history but evolved into a long 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, I realized that opposing forces such as life and death can co-exist, it widened my perspective.

 

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

Education

Shenkar College, BA in visual communication

Solo Exhibitions

2022

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

2019

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

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


Group Exhibitions

2019

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

2017

ARTROOMS, Meliá White House, London England

Radical Love, Crypt Gallery, London England

2016      

Wire/less Connections, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

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

Grand Opening, Milu Gallery Hotel, Florence Italy

2015      

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

2014      

Slideluck III, Tel Aviv

Launching Meshuna, Meshuna Gallery, Tel Aviv

​2013​      

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

​​2012​      

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

​​2011      

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

​2010      

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

​2009      

Biennial #2, Herzliya

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

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

White Trash, Tel Aviv

​2008      

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

​​2005-2007  

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)

2023 

TBD, ONKAF foundation, New Delhi, India

2022   

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          

2021   

Introduce Yourself, Kliger Gallery, Lund, Sweden

2019   

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

2018

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

2017

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: www.mayagelfman.com/curatorial-texts

Press & selected articles: www.mayagelfman.com/press

Selected Collections, public and private

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

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

Rivka Saker, private collection, Israel

M. Schmitz, private collection, Austria

H. Bornstein private collection, Israel

O.  Shatil, private collection, Israel

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

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