Monday, March 21, 2011


This is Yoma Segev - a very special resident of Gdera, a sculptor, one-of-a-kind.
Yoma was born in 1936 in Tel Aviv and moved to Gdera in the seventies, living and creating there, as a hobby actually, ever since.
He collects car parts, iron scraps, rubber wheels, wood, stone, everything that suits his fancy and incites his creativity.
From these materials he fabricates astonishing pieces of art. It seems to me, that Yoma does not care if anyone likes what he does, if he can sell it, where to exhibit it, what will be its purpose - he just creates, obsessively, soulfully and wholeheartedly. From everything he can get his hands on he will shape some visionary image flowing out of his endless imagination - for me this is one very strong indication of a true artist.

His  play ground and his display ground is his court yard, the garden around his house. This is an open air museum par excellence and here he works and creates. It rains on it, dust and leaves and pine needles settle on it, rust is nibbling on the pieces, it does not bother him. All his skills he taught himself, he is an autodidact, who started his marvelous pastime around 40 years ago and he still goes on. The sculpture garden is open to the public, free of charge at all hours of the day. If you are lucky, Yoma will come out and have a chat with you, he has an outgoing vivid and nice personality, humor blinking in his eyes.
The thematic of his art is very versatile. Characterful faces stare at you, witches scare you, all kinds of animals are strewn over the place, sheep and insects and turtles and snakes and birds and fish and alligators and lizards. Symbols of the Holocaust and of Judaism are present. His ingenious creations deal with sex life and birth, death and torture. They are original and often mystic. He has a favor for shoes and hats. Iron flowers are everywhere. Many of his images are funny, like the bras and lingerie, and a Lederhose, and the spider witch flying on a broom. 

There are hundreds of figures, your eyes keep rolling and rolling around. Faces carved out of stone inflict their presence on you, sculls prick your soul. You gasp at the quantity, you wonder and smile as you grasp the imagination that is going on here and the huge amount of work involved - this man lives on a full storage of ideas, the muse never seems to leave him - this accumulated mass of artistic creations is just incredible and really worth a visit! 

All photographs taken by Uri Eshkar.


Eva said...

Was für eine Fantasie! Und offenbar hat dieser Mann noch mit über 70 eine kindliche Spielfreude. Wirklich amüsant, seine Ideen. Am erstaunlichsten finde ich das Schraubenfellschaf. Möchte ja wissen, ob dieser Künstler auch malt und zeichnet? Ich versuche, mir das vorzustellen...

zsazsazsu said...

Yeah ! A happy artist that doesn't care if something get sold or not, just does it all with passion. The sheep is awesome. Thank you
for sharing this with us;

Bernstein said...

Oooooooooooh wie gerne wäre ich dabeigewesen. Herzlichen Dank an Uri für die tollen Bilder.
Unglaublich wie viel Seele diese Figuren ausstrahlen. Was für ein Künstler mit einer großen Schaffenskraft.
Unglaublich beeindruckte Grüße

Objekte-aus-Ton said...

Das sieht ja wirklich wahnsinnig toll aus!

rachel awes said...

yael, it's like a whole other world!
thank you for the amazing tour!
& lots of LOVE to YOU!!!! xox

Dawn of LaTouchables said...

...with characters that come straight out of a Del Toro film--amazing! Lucky you gets to see it in person! :-)

wanda miller said...

O MY GOSH! HAPPY TALENTED MAN brings same to our world!!!XOXO

Annuk said...

Wonderful post, Yael!!!! I really enjoyed reading it, it is so well written and the photos are fantastic -- it made the atmosphere truly come alive! Thank you for introducing us this great artist and his soulful art!
"From everything he can get his hands on he will shape some visionary image flowing out of his endless imagination - for me this is one very strong indication of a true artist": I totally agree, Yael!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for your lovely comment about the flowers! Ja, die süßen Blümchen gehören tatsächlich zur Famile der Hyazinthen, sie wachsen in Weinberggegenden spontan, auf Deutsch heißen sie Weinbergshyazinthen (das weiß ich von meiner Mutter, die sehr viele Blumen kennt, oft kenne ich die deutschen Namen und nicht die italienischen ;))). Sie sind sich mal vor vielen Jahren auf meinem Balkon spontan erschienen (wahrscheinlich waren die Samen schon in der Erde) und seitdem blühen sie jeden Frühling wieder aufs Neue!!! Das ist für mich immer der erste Frühlingsgruß auf meinem Balkon :)!

glazedOver Pottery said...

I will visit him one day and afterwards I will re-read this post. Yes, I will.

Handmade in Israel said...

How cool! What an artist! What a great place! Thanks for telling us about him.

2 B's World said...

Es ist schön, daß ich hier bei Dir immer wieder solche Beiträge genießen kann. Orte und Plätze, die ich selbst nicht besuchen kann, bringst Du mir näher.
Dieser Künstler und seine Ausstellung sind eine wahre Freude und Bereicherung. Kaum zu glauben, welche Ausstrahlung er seinen Werken verleiht.

Liebe Grüße von Birgit

Hilde said...

Fabulous! Amazing!

Smithy said...

Unique work from a creative mind...loved it! Great pix by Uri too, to make the whole scene come alive :). Hugz. xxx