Pesonal Story

Gideon Fridman, life story

  • Born in Tel-Aviv in 1938
  • in Arad since 1962
  • Married, has 4 children and 8 grandchildren

At the beginning of the 1990's Gideon started sculpting with glass after a trip he made to Prague, Czech's capital city. He met there glass artists and was inspired by their work. When he returned to Israel he learned the basics at "Beit Hahugim" in Ramat-Gan and at the end of his studies bought an oven and started working. The glass became a part of him and some say that it flows in his blood.

He gave up oil painting and sculpting with other materials (such as the stone sculpture at the entrance to Arad) and focused only on glass, especially the fusing, slamping and dumping techniques. Gideon specialized in fusing and slamping for 10 years in his art. During those years he developed a unique working method in which he creates glass sculptures with an oven that he adjusted to his own technique. In a temperature of 800 degrees Celsius he makes the glass act as he wishes it to, and it submits to his instructions and takes on a new and spectacular shape.

Gideon's works are a product of unique planning and design. He doesn't just put the glass on the mold. He designs it, gives it shape and coins his impression on it when it's in the oven and still burning hot. Thus he saves himself the use of controlled hot and cold cycles in order to arrive at the desired shape. Glass for him is the ultimate material that enables him to turn his energies into creativity. It seems as if he uses the glass' natural flow and controls its components to satisfy his needs. Gideon discovered the use of powder as a mold, and thus he can create a few similar sculptures that are different from one another because of the changes the powder goes through in every heating and cooling cycle.
The sculptor with glass, as it is transparent, has to be an artist using lights and shadows. Gideon uses the glass' changing transparency according to its thickness and shades, and uses the color in order to demonstrate the lights and shadows in his work and thus bring them to life.

Life in Arad, in the desert, offer the main inspiration to his work. His whole art is derived from his surroundings. Gideon uses to go out to the desert once in a while; the heat, the dryness and the dust, the blazing sun on the naked rocks and the sand storms, the camel herds, the Bedouins with their flocks are at the heart of his creation. Although his studio is located at home, working with glass enables him to travel to other worlds. With his fruitful imagination he creates those spectacular works.

His works, other than being decorative, has substance and deepness that enable the observer to enter the imaginative and substantive world of creation. His works express amazing abilities, his creations are impressive and powerful.

According to him: "sculpting with glass is a legitimate art. It is a unique art that cannot be substituted with other materials. Glass sculptures have extraordinary beauty. Light, shade and color enrich the observer's imagination. The artist's work with glass is measured by the artist's ability to cope with the material's beauty, by his ability to supervise it, to create using the power of glass and to reach high levels of art. When working with glass I look at the world and express what I see through the glass: light, movement, colors and shadows. My ability to turn raw and flat glass into a living sculpture that communicates with the observer and creates a dialogue with him, gives me pleasure and satisfaction, therefore I prefer working with glass. People think that glass is cold and monotonous but actually it is dynamic, alive and reflects much warmth in it and through it".

The observer of Gideon's sculptures senses the power of this declaration.

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