Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tom Friedman (Jess' Pick)

One artist I've very recently gotten into is Tom Friedman. He reminds me of Jacob El Hanani's (the very first artist whom Greg posted, because of the intricacies

He's basically known for his "obsessive art"... that is, art which is made in a ridiculously obsessive way. My main reason for really liking him is this quote by Tome Friedman himself during graduate school at University of Illinois in Chicago.. "At the time, the program was very conceptually based, and this language being used to talk about art was so foreign to me. I was forced to address why I was doing these drawings and it paralyzed me."
This basically summarizes all my struggles in this class (and maybe some of you can relate), because for me there is nothing more difficult than trying to explain WHY I make what I make!

Around the time when Friedman said the above quote, he began making very simple yet repetitive designs. For example, writing something in a concentric circle with pen until the pen runs out.. at this point he continues to write (simply making the indents in the paper) until the page is filled. Another of his works Untitled, 1999 ------>
is a sculpture of a bar of soap with pubic hair creating spiraling circles on it (and yes it is REAL hair compliments of Friedman himself). I cannot even imagine how long it would take to make a sculpture that perfect using pubic hair for one of the materials! Of this piece Tom said "initially I was drawn towards materials that had to do with personal hygiene. cleaning materials...I drew a connection between mundane 'rituals for keeping ourselves clean, and rituals for spiritual purification."

Another of Tom's works is made up of simply toothpics... placed together to create a starburst pattern sculpture.

(RIGHT) This sculpture is a self portrait carved out of a single piece of aspirin

Friedman's work basically takes ordinary materials and makes them into something quite extraordinary... through what seems to be a ridiculous amount of hours of intensive and obsessive work.

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