Wednesday 3 February 2010

The amazing Art of Glass Exhibition, Arad.Not just for looking at

If you think that you have seen all the craft glass works you can take, then this amazing exhibition / museum will have you thinking again. After watching a fascinating video about the artist, his philosophy and his technique, Gidon Fridman, the artist, guides you personally through his life’s work, as he explains with passion and excitement how he has developed a completely original way of working in glass. Not for him the cute mezuzah covers or challah plates. His installations appear, for example, as holograms, with faces of girls which seem to move as you walk around them. The chess pieces (like the king and queen below) are delightful, but his coloured glass ‘bodies’ are both artistically and technically superb – and it’s good to see that the male models for them appear to be Jewish!

His method of producing the works (I can’t think of another word to describe them) is unique as, unlike other glass artists, he uses window glass, which he colours in vibrant hues and drapes it, at very high temperatures, over mould ‘negatives’ he designs himself. Each piece tells a story and is a treat for the eyes and ‘neshama’ (as he says) but nothing prepares you for the final piece, his Holocaust memorial, which took over three months of concentrated work to produce. You will leave the museum stunned by the technical wizardry, artistic feeling and sheer passion of the artist.

The Art of Glass Museum is at the end of Sadan Street street in Arad, in the ‘Artists Quarter’. You access it directly from Route 31 (east of Be'er Sheva), turning right at the first roundabout and following the signs. There are other artists at work in the area, too and you should make time to see them all.

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