The works on display in the exhibition From Here and There by Zadok Ben-David art part of the artist’s grand body of work People I Saw but Never Met which to date includes more than 6,000 chemically acid-etched stainless steel miniature figures and 200 large hand-cut aluminum figures. It features figures of people seen over the past 6 years by the artist throughout his travels across the globe, however without personally meeting them. These people, seen in the UK, Australia, USA, Antarctica, Asia and Europe, sparked a sense of curiosity within the artist, who took a photograph of them from a distance. After photographing them he then created pencil drawings of the figures, later using the drawings to create a miniature from stainless steel, with photo etching process. In addition, he hand-cut large figure from aluminum.
The series People I Saw but Never Met is a unique assemblage a heterogenic group of humans, varying in ethnicity, age, culture and socioeconomic background; there are tourists, refugees, natives, and immigrants – all remain anonymous yet each meticulously examined by the artist.
In this body of work, Ben-David sheds light on human moments that usually remain unnoticed in the background of our city scape, the extras in each and every one of our individual life-long show: a lady walking, gazing to an unclear horizon; a man affectionately hugging his daughter; a woman decisively walking with an iced-coffee in her hand; a girl running barefoot holding tightly onto a toy. Shown individually, the two-dimensional sketch-like sculptures seem to depict mundane moments in the lives of average citizens, tourists, and even pets, but viewed collectively the installation offers a unique and fascinating snapshot of humanity at a certain moment in time.
The central piece of the exhibition, From Here and There (2018), is composed of people seen in the streets of Hong-Kong amalgamated into a unique sculpture that combines a sense of “local reality with a magical illusion”, according to the artist. The work is based on drawings of hundreds of people Ben-David saw in various locations in the city, which were assembled into a flat circle; the artist then added a naked tree in the middle of the circle, rendering a natural element to an otherwise dense urban environment. The backbone of the tree acts as a physical support, reinforcing and strengthening the entire circle. The piece represents a microcosmos of the cultural, racial and social richness typically found in the streets of major cosmopolitans of the world.
Zadok Ben-David is an award-winning, London based artist, widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks. Ben-David explores themes linked to human nature and evolution. His work is often referred to as poetic and magical, always oscillating between delicate miniature-work and monumental installations. Metalworking has become Ben-David’s preferred language in contrast to the subtle optical illusions that he creates thanks to a sometimes-rough medium.
Ben-David represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 1988 and participated to numerous biennales worldwide. His works are exhibited in illustrious national museums and art galleries across Europe, Australia, America, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Born in Bayhan, Yemen in 1949, Ben-David immigrated to Israel the same year and graduated in Advanced Sculpture from St. Martin’s School of Art, in London, where he taught from 1977-1982.
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