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72 Hours in Tel Aviv

72 Hours in Tel Aviv

Oh So Arty was founded in Tel Aviv and so it will always have a special place in our hearts. This coastal metropolis boasts the best of both worlds offering a bustling city life balanced with the calm beauty of the Mediterranean seaside. Founded in just 1909, Tel Aviv is still a young city that has carved out a space for itself as the country’s bohemian center offering the best in technology and culture. This Spring Tel Aviv has become a destination for people from all over the world as it hosts the Eurovision song contest in May and celebrates 100 years of the Bauhaus school. There is no better way to experience the diverse art scene in Tel Aviv than on one of our gallery or street art tours which explore the evolving identity of the city. Keep reading for the best ways to spend 72 hours in Tel Aviv or book an art tour here.

An Oh So Arty tour at Miriam Cabess’a Tel Aviv studio.  Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

An Oh So Arty tour at Miriam Cabess’a Tel Aviv studio.

Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

When it comes to finding suitable lodgings in Tel Aviv there are a bevy of expertly designed boutique hotels that offer luxurious amenities and comforts. The Hotel Montefiore and Hotel Nordoy make our list for unique boutique hotels options. The renowned brunch at the Hotel Montefiore is a must for all travellers to the city whether staying there or not. Innovative takes on culinary staples such as toasted challah bread are not to be missed. While The Hotel Nordoy centrally located near the Nachlat Binyamin weekly craft market offers a first rate spa experience. Treat yourself to a luxurious massage on the hotel’s panoramic rooftop! If you prefer to stay in Jaffa we cannot recommend The Setai enough. This luxurious new complex offers rooftop pool and unbeatable views of the sea.

Hotel Montefiore. Photo by Sivan Askayo.

Hotel Montefiore. Photo by Sivan Askayo.

Having settled on your ideal home base it’s time to explore the city by foot or by cycle! One of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Tel Aviv is by leisurely strolling its verdant boulevards, stopping by the cute kiosks for a coffee and taking in the fabulous Bauhaus architecture. Often referred to as The White City Tel Aviv has the largest number of Bauhaus buildings in the world making a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For architecture aficionados we recommend a visit to the Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv to explore their permanent collection dedicated to the subject.

The Hotel Nordoy. Photo by Assaf Pinchuk.

The Hotel Nordoy. Photo by Assaf Pinchuk.

Take advantage of the local designers available in the city. One of our favorite boutiques is Aviva Zilberman located in a chic storefront in central Tel Aviv. Also be sure to check out Hibino for interior options, Maria Berman for timeless fashion looks, and Greek Sandals Official for the best shoes around.

There are many fantastic culinary offerings in Tel Aviv. For Thursday nights we recommend dinner at famed Israeli chef Eyal Shani’s restaurant North Abraxas. Known for his unique twists on vegetables, Shani’s restaurants are favorites among locals. Make sure to order the cauliflower to experience one of Shani’s most revered dishes! Close out the night with drinks at Nilus. This stylish bar is located in an old hotel and radiates a timeless energy.

Aviva Zilberman boutique located at 23 Meltchet street.

Aviva Zilberman boutique located at 23 Meltchet street.

Friday mornings are best spent grabbing hummus and soaking up the Middle Eastern vibes offered at the Carmel Market. Start your morning with some classic Israeli cuisine and great coffee at Yom Tov Cafe and get ready to explore the city’s art scene. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is the best place to discover Israeli art history. The new building designed by Preston Scott Cohen is a real gem and offers a strong overview of art from Israel. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the city’s contemporary art scene you have to head to the southern areas of Tel Aviv where most of the galleries have relocated in past years. The South of Tel Aviv has many industrial spaces and where most galleries are located today, due to relatively cheap rents, proximity to the artists’ studios and suitable spaces. We love to frequent Dvir Gallery, Alon Segev Gallery and Rosenfeld Contemporary Art for their unique roster of artists and intriguing exhibition programming. You’ll probably find yourself totally enamored of the Israeli art scene and it’s never been easier to collect artwork by contemporary artists from Israel! Art Source is an online platform (founded by two local art professionals- Michal Freedman and Oh So Arty founder Sarah Peguine) for discovering the best Israeli artists and collecting their work. Visit the Art Source website, read the online magazine and follow their Instagram page to learn more!

Rosenfeld Contemporary Art. Photo by Sophie Weinstein.

Rosenfeld Contemporary Art. Photo by Sophie Weinstein.

Teder is an awesome bar and online radio station that also serves up generously sized pizzas. If you’re looking for more food just head upstairs to Romano, another Eyal Shani restaurant. On Friday nights they push the tables back and local DJ’s spin until the early hours of Saturday morning.

Romano. Photo by Ariel Efron.

Romano. Photo by Ariel Efron.

In Tel Aviv Saturdays are all about the beach. Tel Avivians love living along the sea and on weekends they flock to the long coastline to recharge before the week ahead! Start your Saturday morning slowly with a stroll through Neve Tzedek, a quaint neighborhood with French influence boasting charming cafes and boutiques. Then make your way to Old Jaffa for one our favorite beaches and a fresh juice at one of the many juice stalls located in the Shuk Hapishpeshim. The Jaffa art scene also has a lot to offer in terms of contemporary art with the newly opened Magasin III and creative hub Beit Kandinoff. Complete your trip to Tel Aviv by booking a private art tour with Oh So Arty for an insider perspective on the White City.

Sarah Peguine leading an art tour at Dvir Gallery.

Sarah Peguine leading an art tour at Dvir Gallery.

To book a private art tour in Tel Aviv please click here.

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky

In Conversation: Vera Vladimirsky
Part One of an ongoing series by Oh So Arty


About In Conversation
Through our private art tours Oh So Arty guides and clients have the privilege of engaging with some of the most talented emerging artists in the contemporary art scene today. They invite us and our clients into their studios where they share their ideas and artistic practices. With our latest editorial series we are putting our guides 'In Conversation' with these artists to expose their work to a broader audience.

The first edition of In Conversation features our Editorial Coordinator Sophie Weinstein and Tel Aviv based artist Vera Vladimirsky. 


Sophie Weinstein: Hey Vera. It’s been such a privilege visiting your studio on multiple Oh So Arty tours in Tel Aviv and hearing about your experiences as an artist. You’ve had so many successes at such an early stage in your career. Can you tell us about one of your first major projects, The Last Apartment / Where Are You From Originally? 

Vera Vladimirsky:  I always present first The Last Apartment or Where Are You From Originally? Series as the beginning of where I’m coming from in regards to themes that are a big part of my research and my interest. It refers to a concept or a notion of home and what a home is. Home aesthetics act as a signifier of processes of social and and cultural economic structures.

SW: Home is definitely a major motif in your oeuvre. Why does this notion of home occupy so much space in your creative process? 

VV: I look at this concept of a home and I look at these processes because it’s a part of my biography and the experience of immigration. I immigrated from the Ukraine when I was little. I always look at home aesthetics as signifiers of larger and deeper processes and I like to combine aesthetics from the Ukraine, the aesthetics I grew up amongst and the Israeli ones.  Basically going back to all the apartments I ever lived in and challenging myself with questions about home aesthetics and the idea of a home as being a sense of belonging and a sense of identity and place and creating your own safe zone.

Vera discusses her series  Where are you from originally?  in her Tel Aviv studio. Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

Vera discusses her series Where are you from originally? in her Tel Aviv studio. Photo by Pavlina Schultz.

SW: Your latest series of works, Paper Walls, manipulates the medium of photography to create unique installations in a variety of spaces. Can you explain your inspiration behind Paper Walls?

VV: Just after graduation I realized I really want to combine and refer to these home aesthetics that I grew up around in Ukraine where it’s very heavily decorated, ornamented in many many layers. A former Soviet home is just many layers of wallpaper and carpet on the wall and table clothes and curtains and cushions and sofas and everything is in some different flower pattern. I really wanted to channel this and combine it with common, local, generic Israeli aesthetics I can see just right in plants on the side of the road. 

To really combine these two - I photograph local, common, generic plants and flowers, then I create wallpapers that are repetitive, endlessly continuous, high resolution, seamless patterns that I print on very high quality wallpaper that is suitable for this kind of imagery. Then I create spaces with those patterns and I aspire really to create interesting, challenging and beautiful spaces that really raise questions about the feeling of an individual within space. 

My whole surrounding is very vibrant and is very inspirational and I’m very grateful for all the people I’m surrounded by and the discourse I am a part of. 

SW: Why have you chosen to work with photography as a medium?

VV:  I grew up within this medium, as my grandfathers of both sides are professional photographers, and so is my aunt. This medium was a huge part of me becoming a creative person, and for me, choosing this medium was a natural step. I got my first camera from my parents at the age of 14, and I plan to create my next body of work using it. I’m really keen on the role of photography in its ability to represent reality. I like to challenge, in a way, the medium of photography and use it to deconstruct and reconstruct a space and reality as a whole, using techniques of collage and assemblage, and trying to find meeting points between representation by photography and other media of visual art.

Paper Walls at Fresh Paint Ten 2018. Panels are 240x95 cm

Paper Walls at Fresh Paint Ten 2018. Panels are 240x95 cm

SW: Paper Walls have been installed in many stimulating venues. Most recently it is being shown at the high end Tel Aviv boutique, Verner. What was it like intervening in this space that is so different than a traditional gallery or museum display? 

VV: I’m really excited about having a larger and broader dialogue and discourse with many kinds of meeting, practices, and discourses. Verner provides this opportunity for me as an artist. It was so wonderful to collaborate with Sarah Peguine and Oh So Arty to curate this unique exhibition.

The Paper Walls series was also shown in the 2017 Jerusalem Biennial and in the Bat Yam Museum. I like that it has been exhibited in both traditional places like museums and non-traditional places like Verner. 

Models wearing clothing from Verner in front of Vera's installations. Styled by Shenkar students. Photos by Aviv Avramov.

Models wearing clothing from Verner in front of Vera's installations. Styled by Shenkar students. Photos by Aviv Avramov.

SW: You showed your work in the recent 10th edition of Fresh Paint Contemporary Art & Design Fair in Tel Aviv. What can you tell us about the work you showed at this years fair? How is it a departure or extension of your previous body of work?

VV: The first time I ever exhibited this work [Paper Walls] was in Fresh Paint Seven - they gave me the first shot with this series. Since then I’ve created and exhibited different and new patterns and I’m really happy for the opportunity to show these new works in Fresh Paint Ten. One major difference in this new work is that I show them on panels that are also on a frame base that elevate them from the wall and this way it is modular. 

SW: You’re in the process of receiving an MFA from Bezalel, a prestigious program in Israel. What do you appreciate about the Tel Avivian art scene you are working in?

VV: In regards to the process in the MFA I can really say very genuinely that I’m thrilled about my artistic process through this program. I’m happy to live where I live because it’s a very vibrant area of galleries and also street art and the Bezalel MFA is there and many of my friends who are also artists. My whole surrounding is very vibrant and is very inspirational and I’m very grateful for all the people I’m surrounded by and the discourse I am a part of. 

Vera's Top 5


If you're interested in meeting Vera or other Tel Aviv artists consider booking a Tel Aviv art tour with Oh So Arty.
 

Tel Aviv Art Guide - January

Tel Aviv Art Guide - January

Recommendations of what to see in the Tel Aviv art world this month by our local guide, Shani Werner. Explore more in a private art tour.

 

This month’s recommendations may be considered as “brave”, with three exhibition dealing with some untraditional or even un-spoken of subjects. Take a walk on the wild side with this month’s highlighted art events. 

I.

  
Exhibition: Muzarnism
Artists: Group exhibition
Venue: Hayarkon 19 Gallery
Curator: Boaz Arad
Dates: Until February 2nd, 2018


The name Muzarnism is a smart word game combining Muzar which means “strange” in Hebrew and Modernism. This is another exhibition in the series curated by artist, lecturer and curator Boaz Arad in which he researches the local and global art history. Arad recognizes a resemblance in the dealing with the self in early Modernism and today, this is the starting point of the show. 

מוזרניזם, ארז אוזן.jpg

II.

Exhibition: I Was Looking at You When You Were Looking at Me
Artists: Group exhibition (Gidi Gilam, Noa Ginzbug, Anat Martkovich)
Venue: Alfred Gallery
Dates: Until February 2nd, 2018


Every year the Alfred gallery chooses a yearly subject that the shows will react to - and this time it is failure. The first exhibition for the year takes the risks of failure to the next step as the artists tried a new and ambitious concept. Each one made a sketch for an installation and the other continued and realized it. The outcome is a hybrid of both artists, a translation of one’s ideas with the other’s artistic means. 

אני הסתכלתי עלייך כשאת הסתכלת עליי.jpg

III.

Exhibition: Winnie, Real Daughter
Artist: Efrat Vital
Venue: The Artists Residence, Herzeliya
Curator: Ran Kasmy Ilan
Dates: January 6th, 2018 (no closing date published)


It’s quite obvious that the United-States are going under major changes in the past few years. With that, we see the uprising of radical and racist groups, violent protest and more. During 2012, Vital spent a year in the United States’ Deep South and documented the changes there. Coming as a stranger gave her the chance to dig deeper and reveal unsettling truths which usually stay in the dark. 

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The 'Perpetual Becoming' of Yaacov Agam

The 'Perpetual Becoming' of Yaacov Agam

My aim is to show the visible as possibility in a state of perpetual becoming
— Yaacov Agam

This month marks the official opening of the much anticipated Agam Museum in Rishon LeZion, Israel. David Nofar's 3200 square meter spacious building dedicated to the work of Yaacov Agam is well worth the wait.

The Pillars of Clilla

The Pillars of Clilla

From the moment visitors step onto the grounds of the museum they are engulfed into the rainbow world of Agam. 'The Pillars of Clilla,' named for his late wife, includes 29 monumental columns (20 at the entrance and 9 inside the building) which make the distinction between indoors and outdoors inconspicuous. Meeting visitors in the courtyard, these columns transport them into the mind of Agam and lead them into the museum’s central space, which boasts his ‘panorAgam’ work, originally displayed on the bow at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in 1981.

Agam is widely considered the father of kinetic art because of his early preoccupation with time and movement. Kinetic art is defined as art that relies on motion to create its desired effects. Agam’s work is concerned with the what he refers to as ‘the fourth dimension,’ which is the idea that time is visible within the artwork and the piece is not static. This element is broadly explored and thoroughly explained through the myriad of works in various mediums in the museum. 

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In fact, without the active role of visitors the kinetic elements of Agam’s works would not be possible. Viewers cannot remain passive if they are to truly experience Agam’s art as he intended. His work requires you to be active physically, cognitively, and emotionally. This concept is better experienced than explained as the ‘perpetual becoming’ of Agam’s oeuvre reveals itself to viewers within the museum.

Agam’s signature style is well known to the Israeli public who would recognize his major works in Tel Aviv: the ‘Water and Fire’ fountain at Tzina Dizengoff Square and the facade of the Dan Hotel on the Tel Aviv Promenade. Yet, his work resonates on an international scale with non-Jewish communities. However, it would be negligent to discuss Agam without acknowledging his connections to Judaism. Born in Rishon LeZion in 1928, in what was then mandate Palestine, to a Kabbalist Rabbi father, spirituality and Torah teachings permeated his youth and stay with him to this day. Judaism forbids figurative artworks and since Agam is restricted in this way he uses abstract figures in his work to express the feelings of life. 

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At 89 years old, Agam is embracing technology and is increasingly interested in applying his artistic principles to new medias. Through computers and applications he has created interactive works that activate the participants senses of touch, sight, and sound. This convergence of the senses breaths a new life into Agam’s work and keeps it relevant in the 21st century.

Abundant with Agam classics such as his signature ‘Agamographs,’ the museum provides a comprehensive look at his oeuvre that both longtime followers of his career and novice art fans will appreciate. As the director of the Agam Museum, Gilad Meltzer, explained, “In the spirit of the artist, a visit to the museum will encourage a multiplicity of views and points of view, emphasizing the universal language of art and the unique and groundbreaking qualities of his work.”

 

Agam Art Museum
1, Meishar St, Rishon LeTsiyon, Israel

Tel Aviv Art Guide - October

Tel Aviv Art Guide - October

This October in Tel Aviv, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you to enjoy. Don’t let the end of the summer fool you – the streets of Tel Aviv remain hot from all the action!


I.

Alternative Tel Aviv Pay as you Like Florentin Graffiti Tour
Friday, October 13th 11:00-12:30


After a summer break we are back with our all-time favorite tour, offered in the most convenient way – The Florentin Graffiti tour, pay as you like! For all of you passing through in Tel Aviv, or those living here who still haven’t had the chance to check us out – this is the time to make the introduction. The tour will introduce you to the local street art scene and it’s most iconic figures. 
To book spots for the tour contact us at alternativetlv@gmail.com.

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II.

Dan Gallery finds a new spot on the street
124 Ben Yehuda street, Tel Aviv


Dan Gallery, a well-known and well-established figure in the local art scene, has found a new home. While they have exhibited pieces by street artists in the past, it looks like the niche might be expanding, as they now have formed quite the team – established artists like Dede and UNTAY alongside emerging new talents such as GAB. Don’t miss the Dede bandaids on the façade!

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III.

Dioz and the Synagogue in Florentin


Earlier this summer, Dioz, a figurative street artist and an AlternativeTLV favorite, created a stunning vibrant large scale mural on the synagogue wall on Abarbanel street. Sadly the piece was partially “buffed” (covered). The two lower thirds of the wall were painted a cold, boring shade of grey… Maybe winter is coming after all? 

dioz_.JPG
dioz.JPG