Tom Friedman’s sculpture is recognizable for its highly inventive and idiosyncratic use of materials like Styrofoam, foil, paper, clay, wire, plastic, hair, and fuzz. Those are the main materials the artist uses to create contemporary art. The artist known for his illusory and laborious sculptures made from mass-produced and quotidian materials.
Tom Friedman’s sculpture is recognizable for its highly inventive and idiosyncratic use of everyday materials. Those are the main materials the artist uses to create contemporary art.
The artist’s interest in using simple materials to create complex forms led to the creation of various sculptures of dense continuous loops; in 1995 he created two such sculptures, one formed from pencils and another from cooked and dried strands of spaghetti. Tom Friedman was born in 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri. He received a BFA in graphic illustration from Washington University.
Working autobiographically, Friedman uses painstaking, labor-intensive methods to recreate seemingly random elements from his life. In each piece, he pays obsessive attention to detail, particularly in the replication of the objects that surround him. “Art, for me, is a context to slow the viewer’s experience from their everyday life in order to think about things they haven’t thought about,” Friedman explains. “Or to think in a new way.”
He makes extraordinary work that explores ideas of perception, logic, and possibility. His often painstakingly rendered sculptures and works on paper inhabit the grey areas between the ordinary and the monstrous, the infinitesimal and the infinite, the rational and the uncanny. His work is often deceptive, its handmade intricacy masked by a seemingly mass-produced or prefabricated appearance. Friedman’s deadpan presentation implies content and form are seamless; expectations are overturned as the viewer slowly perceives that chasm between illusion and reality. Friedman’s work has been internationally exhibited in galleries and museums, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fondazione Prada, Milan.
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