Gadi Fraiman (b. 1958) is an Israeli sculptor living and working in Mishmar David, located in the Gezer region of Jerusalem, Israel. He sculpts in stone and bronze and is known for creating artworks that embody movement through the use of flowing lines. Gadi exhibits his works in galleries, exhibitions, and public spaces around the globe. Gadi has a love for matter, and his sculptures reveal the patience and dedicated attention that is required for sculpting in stone, a radical and unusual act for an artist today.
Gadi Fraiman was born in 1958 in Łódź, Poland. Affected by the tragedy of the holocaust, his family moved to Israel in 1966. His father, Itzhak, was a holocaust survivor. Detained in a work camp in Siberia for five years, he lost his first wife and child who were killed in camps. After returning to Poland he hopelessly looked for his wife and daughter who disappeared without a trace. After some years, he met his second wife, Anna. They lived in Łódź, where they had three children: Mark, Gadi, and Eva. When Gadi was eight years old, the family immigrated to Israel. It was no easy task, but this transition promised physical and spiritual relief in the safety of a Jewish state. In Israel, Gadi became a brother to two more siblings: Ivona and Natan.
Fraiman’s interest in making things with his hands began at a young age. “I think I make art because of my childhood. As a child, my parents were poor immigrants and had to work hard to support the family. I didn’t get much attention and I had to occupy myself, so I started making things with my hands, fantasizing, imagining things. Drawing.”
At the age of 24, Gadi became a member of Kibbutz Mishmar David. Thereupon he married Flora. At the kibbutz, he worked as a vineyard farmer growing grapes for wine. His passion for sculpting began at an early age, whilst he was a farmer. “I was a farmer. Agriculture is similar to sculpting. Growing fruit is fun, you start with a bare tree that bears fruit. You need to look after it like a child. Art is a similar challenge, it’s a process. But agriculture is seasonal, it’s ephemeral. A sculpture stays with you. It’s yours.”
In 1982, Gadi began making bronze and stone works in a deserted warehouse in the kibbutz. In 1995, he built a larger studio at a top of the hill on the outskirts of the kibbutz: an ancient building, surrounded by a garden and in the midst of nature. He renovated the building and opened a gallery there for the display of his works. In 1998, Gadi decided to stop farming, and dedicate all his working energies entirely to sculpting. In 2002 Gadi founded a school for sculpting in bronze and stone in his studio. Over the years, he became more renowned and established, exhibiting works in Israel and worldwide, as well as being invited to exhibit permanently in public spaces.
Gadi continues to create art in his studio in Mishmar David, and is father to three grandfather and two grandchildren.
Fraiman’s works are meticulous and beautiful. He is known for the energetic, flowing lines in his sculptures that create a sense of movement. “Movement is life,” the artist claims. Inspired by dance and life underwater, often the works reflect a sense of melody, as well as reflecting a long, enduring process. Renowned in Israel and abroad, Gadi’s main ethos is the uncompromising nature of his material choice and work process. After thinking of an idea for a sculpture, he finds the best and most suitable material to work with. He delves into the desert to find rock formations, orders stones from around the world and works with the highest quality bronze. As a loving father to the sculptures, he shows sincere and complete dedication. This, combined with the mastery of his craft and beautiful forms, wins him vast acclaim.
Gadi mainly works in three types of materials: stone, bronze as colored bronze. Each type of medium requires a different work process as well as its own way of thinking.