Following street art in the Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem
Coronavirus. No mall.There is no theatre and no museum. There is also no school study now.
What do we do?
Driving to Talpiot, literally a few minutes drive from the house. I was told about dozens of beautiful giant paintings that were painted there over the past two years under the auspices of the Jerusalem Municipality and “Eden”, the Economic Development Company. A trip following street art is really perfect for the corona days and completely meets all the conditions of the “purple badge” 😊
On the way to Talpiot, Oded asks me, “Mom, what exactly is street art?”
I explain to him that this is art created by talented people, but instead of depending on the museum, it is on the streets. To see art in a museum you have to travel especially, stand in line, pay money. To see street art, you just have to leave the house. Sometimes it is consumed without even noticing.
“So anything painted on the street is art”?
No, not everything. There is a difference between mere writing, vandalism or painting and art.Street art began as a subversive, protest act of groups of people who felt that they were not given a place, so they took a place for themselves from the public sphere: secretly, at night, with the help of a spray. It’s like saying “Hello- I’m here!”.
“So who determines which painting destroys the environment and which painting has mapped it?” He makes it difficult to “the city hall?”
Probably so. Because this project, of the murals in Talpiot, was initiated and financed by the municipality.
“Then” encouraged a bit disappointed (a teenager after all) “it’s not exactly a subversive and underground act.”
Photo: Itzik Tal
Street Art in Talpiot » Where is Talpiot anyway?
But before we put on our sneakers and go out to see the street art in Talpiot…A moment of history:
The Talpiot neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Its planning began as early as 1911, but actual construction was postponed for several years due to the outbreak of the First World War.
After the war ended and the British controlled the country, construction of the neighborhood began. For the design task, the Jewish architect Richard Kaufman was chosen. His plan was to establish a “garden city” in the European model he knew from home.
In the early decades, Talpiot was considered a “stepdaughter” of Jerusalem, the residents did not pay taxes to the Jerusalem Municipality, and the neighborhood functioned as a “city within a city.” This is also the reason why the British, who were very strict about the directive that every house in the city be covered with “Jerusalem stone”, did not adhere to the directive in the young neighborhood and most of the houses were covered with plaster (making it an ideal area for street art, in a city where the houses do not really allow it).
In the corner: “Celebs in the Neighborhood” you can find, among others, Eliezer Ben Yehuda and S.Y. Agnon, whose house has been turned into a small and lovely museum (in his courtyard there is now an exhibition of sculptures “adapted to corona” that can be visited free of charge).
The industrial zone itself was built on the territory where the Talpiot transit camp used to be. Today the industrial zone covers a large area and has a graceful mix of garages, stock shops, steakhouses, and malls. During the region’s heyday, famous clubs such as “The Bath” and “Haoman 17” were opened, many of whom came from Tel Aviv to spend time in, and around them developed an industry of eateries and bakeries. The clubs have been closed for the past decade, but some of the “satellites” have actually survived and continue to thrive in the region.
Street Art in Talpiot » The Murals Project
The coronavirus, which forced us to live “from lockdown to lockdown”, helped us rediscover the street art scene in Nachlaot and the Mahane Yehuda market (you are invited to read about the fascinating tour we did here ). We were less familiar with street art in Talpiot. The paintings are spread over a fairly large area, between workshops, shops and garages, although their size is easy to miss if you do not come prepared with a map in advance…
All the paintings were created in 2018-2020, funded by the municipality, which also supervised the execution and selected the participating artists. In this sense, Oded is right, and although these are totally cool street painters (you should take a look at their websites), this is not exactly “kicking” art and certainly not political.
So what did we see?
brothers of light
The two brothers, Gab and Elena, grew up in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. As teenagers, they rode around the city on a skateboard and began to engage in graffiti. Today they are both graduates of “Bezalel” and their works can also be seen in Beit Shean, Tel Aviv and of course abroad.
To the brothers’Instagram here andhere
Bicicleta sem freio
Here, too, we are talking about a duo: Douglas Ferrara and Renato Rera from Brazil. Their name means: “uninhibited bike”. In their art they combine elements from South American culture, pop, rock and many vivid colors. To read more about their creations, you can visit their (stunning) website, where there are also videos of the process of creating the mural in Talpiot.
Smith Aka Luis Enrique, a graffiti artist from Mexico, began his career when he was less than 14 years old. His first works were graffiti paintings in Mexico City, influenced by heavy rock bands combined with Mexican culture. Besides graffiti, it turns out that he is also a sculptor, illustrator, comic book creator and even engaged in music.
To Smith One’s website – here
Collective (what is it?) Haifa that has been operating for more than ten years. At the beginning they were engaged in the design of posters for performances by artists, and over the years they developed greatly in the field of street art and also designed for famous bands such as U2 and Pearl Jam. The four members of the group have a policy of “non-exposure” – not taking pictures, not being interviewed and not revealing who they are…
To the collective’s website – here
To the Collective’s Instagram-here
What a pleasure, finally, among all the rugged street artists, to find a creator – a woman and another totally vocal.
Born in China and emigrating to Berlin, Rohan Wang is a representative artist, designer (among other things, she designed cool shoes for Nike) and painter. Wang, like others, has a well-thought-out and special site worth visiting.
To her website (where you can see the shoes she designed) – here
To her Instagram-here
Those who know and love street art in Haifa, may remember the work of Goma on the glazier street, on the walls of a local club. Much is not known about him as an artist, and it is a bit of a pity that there is no sign next to each work that tells something about its creator, sometimes even his name (or name) is unknown…
Painter and designer of clothes and other items, (here too – it is worth a look at the invested site). Most of his works are in black and white.
To Flyfeld’s website – here
We came to my favorite painting in the area, by the artist Aline Moore.
She brings a feminine, refreshing and aesthetic look, with a lot of colorfulness and a special style of her own. And…. Yes, her website is also stunning and it is recommended to come in and be impressed.
To Aline Moore’s website – here
To her Instagram-here
A mural painted by Alon Bonder painter, illustrator and poster designer) as part of the 2019 Walls Festival.
For the benefit of those who want to come and see these paintings as well as others (we didn’t get to see them all, so we will surely return to perfection), I am attaching an up-to-date map that I found online.
The murals in Talpiot are impressive, thought-provoking and the largest of their kind in the city.
About street art that is “the most”, you can also read in the post ” Best Street Art” – a lovely project by Einat from the blog “Alternativa”. As part of the project, dozens of Israeli travel bloggers have written about places around the world that are “the best” for them…
Street art tour in Talpiot – what do you eat?
As befits a large industrial area, it has plenty of cheap and fun places to eat. Here are some of my recommendations:
Yaffaleh – homemade food and very tasty. Ma’ase Think Street 6.
The Tajine – a Moroccan restaurant, on Fridays also sells home-made food. Industrious hand 15.
Pasha – good Turkish food, including the option of ready-to-take food for Shabbat. Pierre Koenig 28.
Hummus Talpiot is considered one of the best hummus shops in the city. Industrious hand 22.
Corner-branch of the most famous restaurant in Jerusalem. On Yad Harutzim Street 22.
Zedekiah Steakhouse – the price is slightly higher than similar places, but definitely worth it. You won’t leave hungry!Industrious hand 21.
The sheikh-sambusk meeting, special pastries and sweets that come out hot from the taboon. Open 24 hours a day on weekdays. Haoman 23.
Tomer’s bread – a bakery of special breads without preservatives and a café. Poalei Tzedek 2.
The Cocoa Forest andChocolta – two stores that specialize in chocolate and are located right next to each other at Poalei Tzedek Street 2. Each of them has a different character. Not for calorie writers…
If you want to see something else in the area…
Armon Hanatziv promenade
A wonderful promenade located in the area and from which you have a great view of Jerusalem. The promenade is also suitable for strollers and has a café with an amazing view and mediocre food…In fact, these are several promenades that are connected with each other, and hikers have the option of a trip along their entire length.
Monument of Tolerance
A large sculpture on the promenade, designed by an artist named Zhuyagi. The shape of the monument – like two broken sections with large olive branches between them. Around the monument is a garden called the “Garden of Tolerance”. The cost of erecting the statue and the garden around it, one and a half million dollars (!) were donated by a businessman from Poland in honor of promoting peace in the region.
In the house where the writer S.Y. Agnon lived, a small museum was established in his memory. In the garden of the museum there is now a small exhibition called “The Secret of Agnon’s Garden”. The tiny exhibition is open free of charge and you can sit and rest in the pastoral garden. The address: Klausner 16, Talpiot.
Not really a tourist site, but since it is right next to the S.Y. Agnon House, you can also take a look at the cemetery located at the intersection of Klausner and Kora Dorot streets, where non-Christian British soldiers are buried in a mass grave. There are two tombstones: one for Hindu soldiers and the other for Muslim soldiers.
If you have visited the house of S.Y. Agnon, you can also stop on the way back at the home of Eliezer Ben Yehuda. He lived with his wife Hemda on Ethiopia Street in the city, and the two built their home in Talpiot. Ben Yehuda used to come every day to see the construction of his new home and also from a city to workers who did not speak Hebrew. A small guest house now stands. Address: 28 Ein Gedi St., Talpiot.
Right in the heart of Talpiot’s industrial zone, near the murals, is a well-known Jerusalem institution, a small and well-designed complex where more and less famous singers perform. If you are in the area you should check out the option to stay for a concert.
During the corona period, we discovered street art in Jerusalem. It started as a solution to the days of breathing lockdown, when touring outside was a permissible pastime. This is how we discovered the graffiti paintings in Nachlaot, in the market and elsewhere. But the tour of Talpiot is recommended not only in the days of Corona and it is very worth coming to see them even when this disease will remain a distant memory…
You can read more about street art in Jerusalem, in a post about street art in Nachlaot and in the Mahane Yehuda market or in a post about the Abu Tor neighborhood, where Arab and Jewish girls created amazing murals.
Did you like it? I would really love to hear comments, suggestions and thoughts.