Solomon Souza

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Solomon Souza
Born1993 (age 25–26)
Known forSpray-painted murals in Mahane Yehuda Market, Jerusalem
StyleStreet art

Solomon Souza (born 1993)[1][2] is a British street artist. He is best known for spray painting portraits of contemporary and historical figures on the metal shutters of the Mahane Yehuda Market ("The Shuk") in Jerusalem, turning them into an after-hours attraction.

Early life and education[edit]

Solomon Souza was born in London and grew up in the neighbourhood of Hackney.[1] His mother, painter Keren Souza-Kohn, is the daughter of Indian artist Francis Newton Souza, a founder of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group.[1][3] Souza came to Israel at age 17 to study in a yeshiva in the Nachlaot neighbourhood of Jerusalem, adjacent to the market.[3] Largely self-taught, he has done graffiti and spray paint art since age 15.[3]

Mahane Yehuda Market paintings[edit]

He was recruited by the project's founder, Berel Hahn, to paint the closed shutters of stalls in the Mahane Yehuda Market as a way of livening up the market after-hours.[1] Souza began painting the corrugated shutters and metal doors at night in January 2015, while Hahn arranged permission from the shopkeepers and raised the funding .[2][3] Souza and Hahn rely on donations to cover the cost of materials.[1][4]

As of July 2016, Souza had spray-painted more than 150 of the 360 shutters in the market.[1][2] Each painting takes two to four hours to complete.[3] Souza usually completes three murals per night.[3]

Subjects include contemporary and historical figures, including Yossi Banai, Roseanne Barr, Menachem Begin, David Ben-Gurion (painted upside-down),[5] Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Meyer Lansky, Emma Lazarus, Bob Marley, Matisyahu, Golda Meir, Moses Montefiore, Dona Gracia Nasi, Daniel Pearl, Jonathan Pollard, Naomi Shemer, Steven Spielberg, Hannah Szenes, Henrietta Szold, and Bracha Zefira.[1][6][5][4] There are nearly one dozen rabbinical portraits, including Mordechai Eliyahu, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Yitzhak Kaduri, Maimonides, Shneur Zalman of Liadi, and Ovadia Yosef.[1][3][7] Arab personalities are also represented, including Lucy Aharish, Sheikh Fari al-Jabari of Hebron, Si Ali Sakkat, and the Queen of Sheba.[1][8] Biblical paintings include Moses, Solomon, and panels depicting the seven days of creation.[6][5][3] Some of the early paintings are of the stall owners themselves, or their grandfathers, by personal request.[5][3]

The murals have become an after-hours and Saturday attraction, when stalls are closed and the shutters and metal doors are visible.[1][3]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ghert-Zand, Renee; Tress, Luke (29 February 2016). "Young artist turns Jerusalem's market into gallery of famous faces". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Kalra, Vandana (16 July 2016). "A Market for Faces". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Levi, Sarah (2 December 2015). "The Artist's Temple". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b Arom, Etan (13 April 2016). "Shuk art: Two 20-somethings are changing the face of a Jerusalem landmark". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Booth, William (24 May 2016). "Two guys are turning an old Jerusalem market into a portrait gallery of famous Jews". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b Sultan, Abir (18 March 2016). "Graffiti art at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  7. ^ Leichman, Abigail Klein (4 May 2015). "Turning the Jerusalem shuk into an art gallery". Israel 21C. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  8. ^ Rabinovitch, Ari (7 March 2016). "Graffiti Artist Turns Gritty Jerusalem Market into Colorful Canvas". Reuters. Retrieved 28 February 2017.

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