Efrat Zehavi

Efrat Zehavi (1974) is a visual and performance artist based in Rotterdam. She is known for the expressive portraits in coloured plasticine that she makes on the spot in public locations. Efrat draws, sculpts, stages photos, makes collages and writes short stories based on oral histories. She combines her texts and artifacts in installations, performances, animations and books.

Efrat’s sculptures are painterly and narrative; they derive their power from the unmistakable imprint of her hand. She works with sculptural media like plasticine, clay, papier-mâché, plaster and wax. With these materials she can shape her feelings and thoughts in the most direct and intuitive way, as if making a quick sketch. She depicts a wide variety of characters, from recognisable realistic portraits to theatrical masks, deformed bodies, mythological figures, marionettes, and mascot-like objects, but finally all human forms.

Her performative projects rely on audience participation, seeking to provoke a dialogue between strangers. In cafés, libraries, studio-like settings or around a table with ritual objects, she guides the conversation to embrace personal subjects like family history and relationships. In this way many universal emotions and feelings are revealed. The people involved can feel connected with each other regardless of their origin, backgrounds or religion.

Though Efrat deals in her work with existential issues like origins, family relationships and migration, and often depicts unpleasant or painful feelings, she always does it with humor and some irony.

Efrat Zehavi

Efrat Zehavi (Haifa, 1974) is a visual and performance artist living and working in Rotterdam since 2001



2001–2003 Master of Fine Art, Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam / Plymouth University, UK

2000 The School of Visual Theatre, course design for stage, Jerusalem

1995–1999 Bachelor of Fine Art, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, IL, Graduate with Excellence


Public commissions

2020 – 2024         Where Are We Going, a series of circa one hundred plasticine portraits of inhabitants of Rotterdam, with an accompanying publication. Commissioned by Droom & Daad Foundation. To be exhibited as part of the permanent collection of FENIX Migration Museum, Rotterdam, from 2025.

2023                     Bronze bust of Dutch Nobel Prize Winner Guido Imbens, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Eregalerij, The Hague.

2022                     Portraits of Katendrecht, a series of plasticine sculptures commissioned for their permanent collection by Verhalenhuis Belvedère, Rotterdam.

2018                     The Power Of Love, a mural commissioned by BKOR / CBK Visual Art & Public Space, Rotterdam.


Selected Projects

2023                     Hidden, a five-month work period resulting in a solo presentation and a site-specific installation, Verhalenhuis Belvedère, Rotterdam.

2021 – 2022         Doubt Table, an interactive performance and installation with self-made objects and books, commissioned by Young designers Foundation for their project Ode aan de twijfel (‘ode to doubt’), TENT, Rotterdam and Framer Framed, Amsterdam.

2018 – 2019         mOTHER, a five-month-interactive performance and installation, interviews with museum visitors about their mother resulting in a series of mythological mother sculptures and short stories. Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.

2016 – 2017         Anonymous Glossy,  book as artwork disguised as a luxury magazine (edition: 500), launched at TENT, Rotterdam.

2012 – 2016         De Dichtkunstkrant; co-founder and editor-in-chief of the free newspaper for art, poetry and current affairs. Collaboration with writer and immigration lawyer Florimond Wassenaar. The newspaper was distributed at Poetry International (Rotterdam) and in many other locations in the Netherland and Belgium.

2007 – ongoing    Passportraits, an interactive performance; live portrait modelling sessions and interviews in public locations, a growing collection of more than 400 plasticine portraits and texts.


Solo Exhibitions

2024      Demons, Goddesses and Personas, Gallery Pedrami, Antwerpen, BE

2023      Verborgen, ‘t Verhalenhuis Belvedère, Rotterdam, NL

2020      Stadsgezicht (City-Scape), Theater Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL

2018      Anonymous Glossy animation, De Aanschouw, Rotterdam, NL

2015      I Presume, duo–exhibition with Melanie Bosboom, DAK, Utrecht, NL

2013      Passportraits, Traveling Studio, Haifa City Museum, Haifa, IL

2013      In Between, duo–exhibition with Banafsheh Rahmani, Gallery Hommes, Rotterdam, NL

2012      Duo–exhibition with Marit Dik, Gallery Iris Cornelis, Paviloen–Rotterdam, NL

2011      The Museum of Subjective Science, Sea Foundation, Tilburg, NL

2010      Carte blanche, B93 kunstenaarsinitiatief,  Enschede, NL

2009      Art in Times of Uncertainty, De Vishal, Haarlem, NL

2009      Pleader’s Prayer, Onno van Toor Gallery, Art Amsterdam, NL

2007      Crime Scenes, Onno van Toor Gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2005      Fireland, curator Birta Gudjonsdottir, Gallerí Dvergi, Reykjavik, IS

2005      Heroes, Rosh Ha-Nikra Gallery, Kibbuts Rosh Ha’nikra, IL

2005      Dreaming.Doc, Nora Gallery, Jerusalem, IL

2004      Leben? Oder Theater? De 5ER Art-Space, Rotterdam, NL

2003      Displeasure City, TENT, Rotterdam, NL


Selected Solo Performances

2023      Passportraits, Gallery Pedrami, Antwerpen, BE

2022      Passportraits, Cultuurhuis Delft, Delft, NL

2018      Passportraits, WORM, Rotterdam, NL

2018      Passportraits, Witteveen visual Art Centre, Art Amsterdam, NL

2014      Fear Factory, Motel Mozaïque, Rotterdam, NL

2014      Passportraits, Lek-Art Festival, Culemburg, NL

2014      Fear Factory, Welcome To the Village art-festival, Leeuwarden, NL

2013      Passportraits, 38 CC, Delft, NL

2013      Passportraits, Kunst te gast art-festival, Zuidhorn, NL

2012      Passportraits, Oerol Festival, Terscheling, NL

2011      Passportraits, Die Grosse, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, DE

2011      Passportraits, Artroute Roombeek-Loneker Enschede

2011      Passportraits, ONGEKEND, Young masters auction, Rotterdam, NL

2009      Passportraits, V.O.R.K Art fair, Rotterdam, NL

2008      Passportraits, Kunstvlaai A.P.I. Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, NL

2008      Passportraits, Kunstpunkte, Onomato Kunstverein, Düsseldorf, DE

2008      Passportraits, Between Artist and Subject, American Book Centre, Amsterdam, NL

2007      Passportraits, (part of the exhibition Be(coming)Dutch), Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, NL

2007      Passportraits, Gil & Moti Homegallery, during Witte de With Festival, Rotterdam, NL

2007      Passportraits, The Virtual Residency Völklingen, Unesco Weltkultuerbe, DE


Selected Group Exhibitions  

2024      Me & You, Us & Them, Droog Gallery, Amsterdam, NL

2024      Zie Jezelf! Villa Zebra, Children museum, Rotterdam, NL

2024      Do For Love, Ijsselstein Museum, Ijsselstein, NL

2023      The Anatomy Lesson Revisited, Sint-Amanduskapel, Gent, BE

2023      Where The Wild Roses Grow, Museum Ijsselstein, Ijsselstein, NL

2020      Realism Nu (Realism Now), Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, NL

2020      About A Womam, Niffo Galerie, Zuid-Explorer, Rotterdam, NL

2019      Hollandse Nieuwe II, new acquisitions, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL

2018      Japen! Gallery Drift, Breda, NL

2018      ‘6 voor 6′ in Loods 6, Witteveen visual Art, Amsterdam, NL

2018      First decade, 38 CC, Delft, NL

2018      Waited for the fish corner, Hommes Gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2017      Going Back To Forget, TENT, Rotterdam, NL

2015      Shift & Drift, TENT, Rotterdam, NL

2015      Hybrid, Gallery Helder, Den Haag, NL

2015      Gender Blender, MU, Eindhoven, NL

2014      Mens in beweging, culemburg, NL

2014      Shameless M-F, TAC, Eindhoven, NL

2013      Souvenir, 38 CC, The Netherlands

2013      Multiples, Joey Ramone gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2013      L’Homme qui rit, Kadmium, Delft, NL

2013      Dichtkunstkrant, Joey Ramone Gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2012      (Dis) Connections – beeldhouwkunst, Gallery Witteveen Amsterdam, NL

2012      Virtual Borders, Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum, Berlin, DE

2012      Harbour Lights, Gallery Lutz, Delft, NL

2011      Iris Cornelis Gallery, Art Rotterdam week, Rotterdam, NL

2010      Portraits of the 21st Century, Gorcums Museum, NL

2010      BRIDGIN’, Hommes Gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2010      MetAmorPhosis, Gallery Onno van Toor, Rotterdam, NL

2009      Biennale for Young Artists, Ramat Hasharon, IL

2009      Klankvelden, Pand Paulus, Scheidam NL

2008      Horen, Zien, Zwijgen, Galerie 300 procent, Rotterdam, NL

2008      WEDERZIJDS – kunst in context, Het Kruithuis, Den Bosch, NL

2008      Image, Artots, Den Bosch, NL

2007      Art-store kunstambassade, Pictura, Dordrecht, NL

2006      Terror?, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2006      Rotterdam(inter)nationaal, Kunstambassade, Rotterdam, NL

2006      Open Draw, Open Source Art, Champaign, Illinois

2005      Highspot, Gil & Moti Homegallery, Rotterdam, NL

2002      Ramble, Ram Foundation, Rotterdam, IL

2002      Point of view, Galerie des FORUM, Nordersted, DE

2002      Amsterdam Visite, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, NL

2002      Ramble, RAM gallery, Rotterdam, NL

2002      Madam, I am Adam, Galerie der Kunstuniversitat, Linz, AUST

2002      Penetration, Bar David Museum, Kibbutz Bar’am, IL


Selected animation screenings

2018      KhKC #67, Animation Screening & artist talk, Tante Nino, Rotterdam, NL

2017      Off Screen, WORM, animation screening, Rotterdam, NL

2013      Tenteren van de nacht, Animation screening, Paradox, Tilburg, NL

2012      Virtual Borders, Feste Dilsberg, DE

2011      Espacio Enter, TEA Espacio de las Artes, Tenerife, ES

2011      Animations screening, Kunstverein Duisburg, DE

2009      The Other Side, animation screening, City hall Herzelia, IL

2009      Noise, Artist house Rishon Le’tsion, IL


Selected Publications  

2024      (up-coming) Where Are We Going, artist book, publish together with FENIX museum, Rotterdam, NL

2023      The roundness of loss, interview,  authur: Hanne Hagenaars, Art Paper Editions, Gent, BE

2022      Weten Wat Je Ziet, authur: Alex de Vries, uitgeverij De Zwaluw, Den Haag, NL

2010      Art Pie, Mario van Baar, Jos Houweling and Prof. Qin Jian, publishers Art Pie foundation, NL

2009      Ander-beeld-anders,

2008      Innerelijke Spiegels, Wederzijds-Kunst in context, Ansgar Editions, Editor: O. Schrover,

exhibition catalogue, NL

2008      Ramat Hasharon Biennale for young artists, Author: Sorin Heller, exhibition catalogue, IL

2008      Virtual residency, Editors: Claudia Brieske, Lesslie Huppert, exhibition catalogue, DE

2008      Wederzijds, Kunst in context, Het Kruithuis, exhibition catalogue, Den Bosch, NL

2005      Dreaming.doc, Carmel publication, illustrations for the book of Lea Zehavi, Jerusalem, IL

2005      Memory, Experience and Re-enactment, Piet Zwart Institute and Revolver Books,

Editors: Anke Bangma, Steve Ruhston, (p. 192-197) NL

2002      Madam, I am Adam/ The organization of private life, Publisher: Piet Zwart Institute and

der kunstuniversitat, Linz, AUT, 2002

2002      Penetration, Bar David museum, Curator: Adi Ben-Horin IL 2002  (exhibiton catalogue)


Selected Reviews (magazines, newspapers and TV)

2020      De ander boetseren. Trauma en compassie in beeld, interview, tekst: Manja Pauka, Benjamin

2020      Kunstenaar – kunst – verzamelaar, Interview, RAM foundation, Tekst: Piet de Jonge.

2020      Nu te Zien! NPO2, interviee, TV Dutch art-programe

2019      Levensverhalen in klei, Pandora magazine Nr. 6, tekst: Ruud Vermeer

2019      Laatste Kans! Tekst: Juul van Stokkom, De Volkskrant

2019      De geest neemt bezit van de materie, Alex de Vries, Mister Motley Magazine

2018      Ze vertellen veel als ik ze aan het kleien ben. text: Arie Westeneng, AD Rotterdam

2018      Een levensverhaal achter elk gezicht, over Efrat Zehavi, Rotterdam Late Night, Wilma Sütö

2018      Schie TV, kunst & cultuur, interview, 20 October

2017      Anonymous Glossy: Five Observations, book Launch TENT, text: Nat Muller,

2017      Monumentjes voor onbekende Rotterdammers. Caspar Naber, NRC 3 November 2017

2018      Top Stuk!, Quest Magazine, tekst: Ellemiek de Wit

2012      Beelden Magazine, issue no.60, text: Sya van ‘t vlie

2011      De Nieuwe, Rusteloos, mei 2011 jaargang 15, text: Robert Broekhuis

2010      What’s Up Art-Magazine, Issue 6, editors: Onno van Toor, Karmin Kartwikromo

2009      Hele families portretteren is mijn droom, interview, text: Inekke Suidman, Keramiek Magazine

2009      Klassieke Raadgeving – de verhalende werken van efrat zehavi, KM Magazine, text: harald scholle

2009      Ander, Beeld, Anders, Editor Oscar Schrover, Ansgar Editions

2009      What’s Up Art-Magazine, Issue 3, editors: Onno van Toor, Karmin Kartwikromo

2009      A visual Wonderland by Athena Newton, ArtSlant, online review on Art-Amsterdam

2008      NIW Nieuw Israelitisch weekblad 5, text: Daphne Meijer 7 nov 2008

2007      TAGEBLATT – Zeitung fir Lëtzebuerg, Author: Patrik H.  Feltes, Nr. 129 5 June 2007

2007      Saarbrucker Zeitung, Author: Silvia Buss Nr. 124 Mittwoch, 30 Mai 2007

2007      A5 Magazine, Beginning, Issue 1, January 2007 Tel-Aviv IL

2006       Medium Magazine, Internet magazine, publisher: Cansfield creative group, UK

2005      Morgunbladid, 29 January 2005, Reykjavik, IS

2002      Norderstedter Zeitung Nr.205 03.09.2002 Stadt Norderstedt Author: Heike Linde-Lembke DE

2010      KETEL.TV  Rotterdam TV Portretteketête – Efrat Zehavi  12 April 2010 http://ketel.tv/ – KETEL.TV

2009      Rotterdam TV 14 Juli 2009 reportage Klankvelden Pand Paulus http://ketel.tv/

2007      TV – Rotterdam Rijnmond, promo sir 1 September 2007 – TV- Mittschnitte SR-Fernsehen,

Kulturspiegel 30.05.07 Author: Harriet Weber- Schafer



2013      Puppets in Prague, puppets for animation, Prague, Czech Republic

2009      ID11, in collaboration with dancer Ans Kanen, Delft, NL

2008      The first Open Art Residency, Eretria, Greece

2007      EKWC, The European Ceramic Centre, Den Bosch, NL



2016      O & O, Research & Development subsidy, Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, NL

2013      Kunstenisrael, project subsidy, Amsterdam,  NL

2011      O & O, Research & Development subsidy, Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam, NL

2003      KAS Bank, study stipend



Collectie Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed, Den Haag, The Netherlands

FENIX, Museum of Migration, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

‘t Verhalenhuis Belvedère, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, The Netherlands

private collections in Israel, The Netherlands, Greece and Germany.