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.