Boaz Vaadia (1951 - 2017) was an internationally-recognized sculptor whose timeless, evocative stone figures can be seen in museums and private collections around the world. Installed at municipal and commercial buildings, parks and private homes , His works set a tone of peace and serenity.
Born in Israel, Vaadia moved to New York City in 1975. After receiving a grant from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation, he established a studio in SoHo. As roads were torn up and buildings torn down around him, he discovered bits of sedimentary rock from glacial periods, millions of years old. Vaadia recycled the ancient debris to create totems that evoked primal energies and ritual.
Starting in 1985, generic representations of men and women emerged from Vaadia’s earlier abstract work. Generalized in form, there is nevertheless individuality in each figure. 'It is important that we, as artists, identify our uniqueness," said Vaadia. "Just as every individual needs to identify his or her own individuality.”
Vaadia hand-carved slices of slate and bluestone, stacking the slabs horizontally until the silhouette of a person, animal or group emerged. For him the layering of the stone was a metaphor for the human layering of experience and memory.
Vaadia’s later work focused on large, stone heads developed from studies of particular people. Beginning with his own children, Sara and Rebecca, he selected sitters from among people he knew, worked with or saw on the streets of Brooklyn.
(The above is excerpted and edited from an article in South Florida Art of the Times by Adrienne Garnett.)