David Gerstein

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David Gerstein
David Gerstein
Other Names:
Dudu Gerstein
1944, Jerusalem
Israeli Artist:
Children's Book Illustration,- Israel Museum (1979)
International artist known for his 'cut-out' public sculptures of runners and cyclists.

David Gerstein is an internationally well-known Israeli painter and sculptor and his art is exhibited all over the world.


[edit] Background

David Gerstein was born in Jerusalem in 1944 to immigrant parents and grew up in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. Both he and his twin brother Jonathan (Yoni) showed artistic talent from a young age, even making their own toys out of cardboard. His father was a leather cutter and as David (Dudu) grew up he would help him in the workshop. In high school he took painting classes and went to an art camp for several summers. After the army, where he served in the prestigious paratroop regiment, David Gerstein went to the Bezalel Academy, later going to study further in Paris, New York and London. After returning to Israel, David Gerstein became a lecturer at Bezalel.

[edit] Style

Gerstein was influenced by the Pop Art movement in America and his style is colorful, vibrant and easily recognizable. As his style developed from illustration and painting, David found he wasn’t able to express everything he wanted through painting and so moved into sculpture. Often David Gerstein combines images in an unexpected fashion. For example in one of his works, a large picture/sculpture of a woman’s high heeled shoe is actually made up of lots of butterflies. Gradually David began to merge the two dimensional world of painting with the three dimensional world of sculpture, especially with what he calls his ‘cut-outs’.

[edit] Cut-Outs

David’s childhood experience of cutting out both leather and cardboard has morphed into ‘cut-out’ sculptures of metal which he paints with bright industrial paints. His public steel sculptures which appear to be flat like a painting are actually made in layers so that they are created in three dimensions like a sculpture. This often gives his art the feeling of movement and many of Gerstein’s sculptures are of bicyclists or runners. When his sculptures are put up against a wall they cast a shadow which David sees as an integral part of the sculpture. This is reminiscent of the traditional Jewish [papercut pictures, only on a much larger scale.

[edit] Accessibility

Part of David Gerstein’s approach to art is to remove the distinction between so called ‘high art’ and ‘low art’. David believes that ‘everyone deserves art’ so he creates very accessible art, whether it is his large sculptures and paintings for public spaces or multiple copies of his small ‘wall sculptures’ (painting/sculptures) as pieces for the home. These affordable limited editions for the home, like his dancers or cyclists, may actually be a fruit bowl or just a pure decorative piece. He also has a range of broach pins, prints and photographs which make his art both affordable and accessible. David Gerstein also makes Judaica, including a range of Chanukah menorahs which double as an interesting sculpture once the candle-holder is removed after the holiday.

[edit] Public Art

David Gerstein’s large public sculptures of runners and bicyclists, amongst others, can be found in a wide number of locations around Israel as well as other countries. His piece, ‘Momentum’ at 18.5 meters high is Singapore’s largest outdoor sculpture, while another piece, ‘Star City’ resides in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. His art is in constant demand around the world and is often given as a gift by the Israel Foreign Ministry to visiting dignitaries and heads of state.

David Gerstein is represented by galleries in over twenty countries and he has two galleries in Israel, one in Tel Aviv, the other in Jerusalem. His work is also available online. David Gerstein currently lives and works in Jerusalem.

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