Tom Friedman, American (1965 - )
Tom Friedman's work seduces the audience into a deeper phenomenological discourse about art and life. Quantum Physicist David Bohm tells us that the shape of a bumble bee's wings, their velocity of operation and their size, compared to the bee's body conflict with its ability to fly – plainly, this thing should not be flying! Tom Friedman's work is this way – is it really art?
Friedman makes us think, keeps us on our toes, we never know what to expect. In one work, Mary Magdalen (2003) Friedman haunts the viewer with a statue of a woman's ghost, made of black Hefty bags, torn and shredded. The artist takes us to a somber, sober place, conjuring women's oppression, the Catholic Church and the earth's struggle with the wastefulness of humans. Yet, in another piece, Friedman's minimalist cube, he positions, in a most delicate and careful way, a rolled up ball of his own excrement. Though these two works may seem so different in subject and provocation, the both possess the same sense of shock, unexpectedness and association with pop culture – these threads run through all of Friedman's work.
Tom Friedman was born in St. Louis, MO in 1965 and received his B.F.A. at Washington University, St. Louis, MO and his M.F.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has exhibited extensively in major museums throughout the world. His most recent exhibitions include Tom Friedman, South London Gallery, London; Stitching, Fondazione Prada, Milan; Tom Friedman, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, which traveled to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Aspen Art Museum, CO, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. In October 2006, Friedman will be exhibiting at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 1997.
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