Yemen/Israel/United Kingdom born 1949, arrived UK 1974
Big Boy 2016
London-based Zadok Ben-David was born in Yemen. As a child, he migrated with his family to Israel where, in the early 1970s, he trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Living in the UK from 1974, he studied at the University of Reading and later at St Martin’s School of Art, London.
Ben-David creates installations and sculpture and he represented Israel at the Venice Biennale in 1988. In 2008, he was commissioned to make a sculpture for the Beijing Olympics.
Big boy relates to an installation titled People l saw but l never met – a tableaux of 3,000 miniature metal figures; in effect a ‘snapshot of humanity’. The plasma-cut metal figures are based on drawings the artist makes from his own photographs of individuals in everyday situations.
Big boy originates in Ben-David’s photograph of a boy with a soccer ball glimpsed in a street in Portugal. The soaring profile is hand-cut from a single sheet of corten steel, but in such a way that this two-dimensional image creates the illusion of a third dimension.