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tel aviv

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.

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. 

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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. 

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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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Je t'aime, Ronit Elkabetz

Je t'aime, Ronit Elkabetz

“I truly believe clothes have spirit and a soul, so it’s important to me to care for them and then let them go when the time comes. After they have travelled a long way with me, I allow them to continue on, like a story or a film that needs to go on with its own life”
— Ronit Elkabetz

Actress, director, social activist, muse. All of these titles are applicable to the international icon, Ronit Elkabetz. Each role is thoroughly dissected in Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz, a new exhibition at the Design Museum in Holon, Israel, which opens November 27th on what would have been Elkabetz’s 53rd birthday.

Ronit Elkabetz in a gown by Alber Elbaz at Gindi TLV Fashion week, 2015.   Photographer: Amit Berlowitz ©

Ronit Elkabetz in a gown by Alber Elbaz at Gindi TLV Fashion week, 2015. 

Photographer: Amit Berlowitz ©

This exhibition, which contains 528 items from Elkabetz’s personal wardrobe, was a collaboration between film director Shlomi Elkabetz (Ronit’s brother and collaborator) and fashion curator and historian Ya’ara Keydar.

While the general Israeli public may not have identified Elkabetz primarily as a fashion icon, this exhibition proves her sartorial choices were always pertinent in the actress’s various cinematic projects and an important part of her daily life. In many ways, this exhibition provides another dimension to Elkabetz’s garments, which she saw as living souls.

Ronit Elkabetz. Photographer: Gabriel Baharlia, 2011 ©

Ronit Elkabetz. Photographer: Gabriel Baharlia, 2011 ©

Ronit was born in Be’er Sheva and when she was young, her family moved to the town of Kiryat Yam in northern Israel. It was here that she had her first official introduction to fashion as she studied it in high school. At at the age of 17, she began modeling and after designing, sewing, and working as a runway and photo model, she quickly became steeped in the world of glossy covers and haute couture.

Elkabetz would come to have a symbiotic relationship with the fashion world and specifically Moroccan-born Israeli designer, Alber Elbaz, with whom she would often collaborate. Through Elkabetz’s clothing, the act of getting dressed sheds its mundane connotations and becomes something inherently transgressive, cathartic, and creative. Elkabetz’s wardrobe and fashion choices demonstrated her political, feminist, and minority identity agendas and were in many ways an extension of her art as an actress and director.

Ronit Elkabetz in SION, a film by Joseph Dadoune , 2006  Artist credit: Joseph Dadoune, 2006 ©

Ronit Elkabetz in SION, a film by Joseph Dadoune , 2006

Artist credit: Joseph Dadoune, 2006 ©

The theatrical design of Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz, expertly curated by Keydar, transports visitors into a theater of sorts as they explore the 31 ‘scenes’ illustrating Elkabetz’s attitude towards fashion. The crowning moment of the exhibition is undoubtedly the three-meter-long vivid yellow Lanvin gown designed by Alber Elbaz. Suspended in the center of the lower gallery, ‘the Sun Dress,’ floats weightlessly, its canary color cutting through the darkness of the gallery space. As visitors enter the dim room, they maneuver through rosettes of silky red fabric on the floor and hear Elkabetz’s voice speaking and singing as if from another dimension, all without ever taking their eyes off of the enchanting garment, which pulls them closer as if it were really the sun.

On the verso of this display, Photocall Magador (a short film directed by Shlomi Elkzabetz) is projected behind a lace gilded mannequin wearing a gothic tulle gown, also by Elbaz. In this imagined scenario, paparazzi call out to Ronit before silence ensues and only the sounds of waves crashing and cameras clicking are audible. The entire room creates a spiritual environment, where the presence of Elkabetz is palpable as her voice rings through the air and her personal items maintain a vibrant presence.

Ronit Elkabetz on the set of the film Scar, directed by Haim Bouzaglo , 1994  Photographer, Adi Kaplan, 1994 ©

Ronit Elkabetz on the set of the film Scar, directed by Haim Bouzaglo , 1994

Photographer, Adi Kaplan, 1994 ©

Lustrous jewelry and chic stilettos are displayed in light boxes dotting the walls of a corridor that transitions visitors from the lower gallery. Softly illuminated and presented on an intimate scale, the accessories shown in this passage evoke feelings of awe as if discovering precious treasures or peaking into a cabinet of curiosities. Presented alongside sensual flowers, their femininity is heightened and they seem like organic extensions of womanhood.  

The theatrics continue in the upper gallery where mannequins wearing corsets, couture, and costumes tell the story of Elkabetz through style.

The upper gallery is divided by a 16 meter bridge that ascends and abruptly stops in front of the ‘Finale dress’ (designed in tribute to Elkabetz by Victor Bellaish), suspended over a floor projection of the the seashore. Neon text on the adjacent wall ominously reads ‘this is not cinema.’ This climactic display acts as the finale to the exhibition, allowing visitors a somber yet spiritual moment of reflection as they digest the performance they’ve just witnessed.

Ronit Elkabetzon the set of “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” directed by Ronit and ShlomiElkabetz. Image courtesy of ShlomiElkabetz © Photographer: Amit Berlowitz


Ronit Elkabetzon the set of “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem,” directed by Ronit and ShlomiElkabetz. Image courtesy of ShlomiElkabetz ©
Photographer: Amit Berlowitz

The triumph of the human spirit is a major theme both in Elkabetz’s oeuvre and the curatorial narrative of the exhibition. Elkabetz imbued every element of her life with passion, and that energy continues to radiate in new ways from the precious objects she left behind from her inspiring yet tragically short life.

Je t'aime, Ronit Elkabetz is showing at the Design Museum Holon from November 27th, 2017 until April 30th, 2018.

 

To learn more about this exhibition or the Israeli art scene, take an art tour with one our local guides in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

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? 

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dioz.JPG