Boaz Vaadia

Stone Pieces

Born and raised in Israel, Vaadia moved to New York City in 1975 thanks to a grant he received from the American-Israel Cultural Foundation. Vaadia established his studio in SoHo just before its streets labored to give birth to a new community of working artists. Roads were torn up and buildings were torn down. In the chaos of New York City, he discovered supplies from the earth. Slate and bluestone, ubiquitous materials of the city are sedimentary rocks from glacial periods, millions of years old. The city’s detritus: vestigial windowsills, shingles and curb stones were all readily available to an artist, permitting the recycling of nature’s resources to build, destruct and reconstruct edifices of the future. Vaadia used these materials to make personal totems that evoked primal energies and ritual.
Starting in 1985, generic representations of man and woman emerged from Vaadia’s earlier abstract, monumental effigies. Though generalized in form, there is some individuality in each figure, the artist’s intention being to represent the essence of a specific person. “I love people. Each person is unique, as is the work of an artist. It is important that we, as artists, identify our own uniqueness, just as every individual needs to identify his/her own individuality.” This individuality resides in centeredness, not in superficial attributes. It is that which unites us as human beings.