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Tel Aviv-Yafo

Helena Blaunstein of Frau Blau helps a fashionable client. Photo by and © Vision Studio

Like other vibrant cities, Tel Aviv is in a constant state of change, but as of this writing, perhaps the single coolest fashion district is Gan HaChashmal (the “Electric Garden,” so named because it was the first neighborhood in Israel to have its own power plant, back in the 1920s). In the early 2000s, intriguing independent design studios began to dot streets primarily devoted to hardware stores and dusty warehouses: Kisim, Idit Barak’s Delicatessen, Frau Blau, and more. Together they formed a consortium that came to be called Collective Gan Hahashmal: while retaining their independence, they support one another in marketing and business survival—a very Israeli model of cooperation.

Creative, interesting people live and work here.
— Maya Bash

Today some of the shops have changed location, and the Gan HaHashmal scene is still transforming, with new bars and restaurants and dance clubs taking up more of the once-languishing real estate. Designer Maya Bash was one of the neighborhood’s pioneers—and her shop on Barzilay Street is still going strong. “You now have a cool customized-bicycle place, coffee bars, great hamburgers, great music,” says Bash. “Creative, interesting people live and work here." 

Frau Blau Facebook >

Frau Blau Instagram >

Kisim >

Maya Bash >

Frau Brau Instagram

Tel Aviv’s Gan HaChashmal: From Warehouses to Fashion Houses

Sommer Contemporary Art on Rothschild Blvd in Tel Aviv courtesy of the gallery

Tel Aviv has a very fresh, inquisitive energy, and its arts scene is nothing less than cutting edge. Galleries abound here. On and around the stately, tree-lined central boulevard Sderot Rothschild, many of the streets are dotted with art spaces: including Sommer Contemporary Art, which showcases Israeli and international artists, and encourages budding curators by allowing them to organize small shows in their space. The Chelouche Gallery, located in a magnificent four-floor space on Mazeh Street known as the “Twin House,” features contemporary art of many media, from painting and sculpture to video and installation work.  Beit Ha’ir’s space on Bialik Street once served as a Town Hall building; now it shows work by today’s artists and also hosts cultural events on its roof terrace. The up-and-coming Florentine neighborhood is often compared to New York’s Williamsburg, with its young vibe and population of hipsters. It’s home to Hezi Cohen gallery, which represents Israeli heavy-hitters like Sigalit Landau, Ron Amir, and Aviv Naveh. Also located in Florentine is the dynamic new Meshuna gallery—with its grungy walls hung floor to ceiling with works, it stretches the definition of art space in a fascinating way.

Galleries abound here, showing work from the traditional to the abstract to the most provocative.

Tel Avivians and visitors from all over the world wander in and out of these exhibition spaces, some perplexed by the mysteries of the latest conceptual folly, some at home in the realm of the avant-garde, still others seeking a classic oil on canvas by an Israeli master such as Reuven Rubin—and such treasures can be found. 

Beit Ha’ir >

Chelouche Gallery >

Hezi Cohen gallery >

Meshuna > 

Sommer Contemporary Art >


Arts in Tel Aviv: A Fresh, Inquisitive Energy

Installation view of “9 Artists Walls”,  ArtSpace TLV. Photo by Yuval Chen Courtesy of the Gallery

Many young artists live and work in this area.

In South Tel Aviv, the neighborhood of Kiryat Hamelacha has all the elements of fertile grounds for art: a gritty, working-class area nowhere near gentrified (yet), where empty warehouses provide perfect studio spaces, and public walls serve as open canvases for the likes of Know Hope, Klone, and Zero Cents, three of Israel’s boldest and most energetic street artists. Raw Art, which opened in 2005, is a relative old-timer in the neighborhood. Rosenfeld Gallery, Feinberg Projects, and Litvak Contemporary are three exhibition venues nestled into the tiny HaMif’al street; all showcase Kiryat Hamelacha’s offbeat aesthetic. The Indie Photography Group Gallery focuses on work by contemporary artists working in photo-based media. Other new artists’ collective spaces—Hanina, Alfred, and Artspace Tel Aviv—serve as launch-pads for emerging young artists, many of whom live and work in this area. 

Alfred Gallery >

Artspace Tel Aviv >

Feinberg Projects >

Hanina >

Indie Photography Group Gallery >

Litvak Contemporary >

Rosenfeld Gallery >

Raw Art >


Kiryat Hamelacha, Where Public Walls Serve as Open Canvases