Dede has become almost synonymous with Israeli street art, having used Tel Aviv as a canvas for the past decade. While ‘Dede,' a pseudonym of the artist’s real name, may not ring any bells, you are likely familiar with his work. He is responsible for the hundreds of band-aid images decorating the streets of Tel Aviv. This symbol is of particular importance to the artist: “[The Band-Aid] is therapy that my body has independently invented and it helped me through some of the hardest phases of my life… I used to spend long nights drawing band-aids all over the city and with each drawing I felt a sense of relief, as if I was telling everybody about my problems and they all listened, understood, and supported me.”
Dede’s popular works additionally include a series of stenciled animals formed from broken wooden beams, “A story about looking for a safe haven," turning the sea-side Dolphinarium nightclub, abandoned after a terror attack in 2001, into ‘Chattering Teeth,' and transforming a highway intersection into a ‘Yellow Submarine.'
The White City inspires Dede to release his creativity: “It has great textures, falling apart walls, abandoned places, amazing architecture," and he is not nostalgic about the fact that most of his art is painted over, and removed from the public eye. “It lets me move on and evolve,” he explains. Often, photographs of his works are the only images that remain, inciting a habit of documenting his work through the camera’s lens “almost obsessively."
Most recently, we have fallen in love with one of his latest paste-ups: a beautiful representation of a modern Venus on the corner of Herzl Street and Yaffo Road, her body covered with selectively placed band-aids. A heart-breaking, yet fitting, vision for the state of women in the world as of late.