I love a good piece of art, and street art is my current obsession. I will never forget walking through Paris a few years ago and seeing Space Invader scenes created with mosaic tiles and spray painted skeletons with storm drains for ribcages. That is when my obsession began. As I strolled through Tel Aviv yesterday on my quest to fix my camera and find a doctor, street art was everywhere. It left me hopeful, heartbroken, better educated, and even provided the occasional laugh.
Here is a small account of what I found on and around Allenby Street. I will share more on social media over the following month – some of which is outright GORGEOUS – but I am posting mostly political and social commentary street art here because I had the strongest reaction to it. (Just a warning – there is some strong language!)
This first piece of art is still making me think. I believe that three different people contributed to it at different times. The original piece of art says, “Am I relying on human kind?” To me that seems to be a reminder that we are all one and can and should rely on each other. Perhaps “humankind” was divided into two words for a reason.
A second person wrote “Why” above the original, adding a sad, pessimistic view of the world. The third person grabbed a marker and added “Ask” above that.
It is so interesting that on one wall, three people were collaborating and having a dialogue. Who knows if they ever even met. It is a reminder that we all have different views of the same phrase, situation, etc., yet we are all connected.
When I first saw this piece, I saw the smiles before the gun and knife behind the backs of the supposed friends shaking hands. This is powerful statement on relationships, trust, and truth.
I assume the above question refers to the conflict between the people in Israel. We can apply it to conflict everywhere if you really think about it. I am struck by the anger of the person who wrote it and their frustration with the current situation.
With “Give Peas a Chance,” I cannot decide if this is a comedic take on giving peace a chance or not. Perhaps the author is talking to everyone as if they are children, trying to get us to do something that is good for us just like eating healthy food. What do you think? I am still turning it over in my head.
The last piece of street art below is the first piece I saw this morning. I think this speaks for itself… Give the people what they want!
In case you are wondering, I absolutely LOVE Tel Aviv so far. I could move here long-term and be quite happy. I will be here for a few more days before heading to Jerusalem over the next few weeks with day trips to places like Nazareth and Bethlehem.
Let me know what you think about this street art in the comments!