Maya Gelfman has made art, as long as she can think back. Today she is one of Israel’s most important contemporary artists and enjoys wide international recognition. She paints on canvas, paper and on walls, intervenes in public space – with street art and installations.

Her work is poetic, rich in symbols and allegories. Gelfman combines – with beautiful ease – stark contrasts: fairytale fantasy and brutal reality, happiness and menace, the beautiful and the grotesque. She wants to initiate mindfulness – mindfulness for ourselves, for our environment, for fellow human beings, mindfulness for the moment.

The project, which she has initiated and pursues with great strength, is called “Mind the Heart” – Take care of the heart. Be attentive and careful. It is a denial of indifference, thoughtlessness and cynicism.

Maya paints hearts, arranges them out of red wool, gives them to people, installs them in public spaces. She and her partner Roie Avidan started out on the streets of Tel Aviv to mark the beauty of decay and neglect, the order in chaos, the magic in the ordinary, the soul in things. Since then, the two have distributed thousands of red yarn hearts with a simple mission: Mark what or who matters to you. Show feelings and let others feel. Maya Gelfman offers an invitation to think about oneself and the world, about oneself in this world and how to act there. “Mind the Heart” became a world-wide art project.

Available Artwork by the Artist:

Mind the Heart

Can you imagine supporting an art project that calls for mindfulness and humanity, respect and kindness in dealing with each other?

The project is called “Mind the Heart”. It’s plea is simple: Watch out for what matters to you and the people you meet.

The action will strengthen a sense of community. We should not be driven into self-centeredness or even cynical by the bustle of everyday life. It is active art and a call to appreciation, respect and togetherness.

Everyone can actively participate in the campaign – with little effort. How?

  • Come get a heart sticker and have your photo taken with it. No selfie!
The heart is made available by us. Each one is unique and handcrafted from red wool by the artists Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan. The photo documents personal support for the project and its message.
  • Go and put your heart out there. Simply stick your heart in a public place that has a special personal meaning to you.
  • Email the photo to us, with a short text that explains why you chose that spot.

The collection of photos of all supporters will be shown in an overall show. If you win more people as supporters, the action gets even more power. See examples of photos below.

Michael Schmitz
Margot Schmitz

“Mind the Heart” has attracted attention and approval in more than 100 cities worldwide, in Bangkok as well as in London, New York or Sydney. Actions were supported, for example by Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, the cities of Houston and Portsmouth, the Hillary Clinton Children’s Library at Little Rock, the Israel National Museum, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

Israeli artists Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan have initiated “Mind the Heart” and is driving the project forward. In September, Maya Gelfman will be artist in residence of Gallery AG18 in Vienna, where she will make a big exhibition. She and Roie will perform “Mind the Heart” actions in the city. This includes images and installations by the artist in public space.

You will find more about the project at www.mindtheheart.org