Tom Friedman or a cup completely full

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The artist Tom Friedman is definitely a superhero of “scientific contemporary art” right now. High concept, simple materials, spectacular results. His art, created out of simple every day materials and objects uses these in such stunning and inspiring ways, that one really needs to laugh sometimes, simply out of happiness that such genius is somewhere among us. Really, the work is sometimes just incredible, fantastic, fun.
His self portrait carved in an aspirin is definitely mind boggling, as are his lists of words, the entire dictionary on one single sheet of paper, written with a ballpoint pen. His master piece in art school was his signature signed in an outward spiral so often until the ink of the ballpoint pen ran out. (Many signatures.) He cut cereal boxes into tiny pieces, just to assemble them to a larger box, that feels oddly blurred, and he has cut one box of cereal and made four distinguishable little boxes out of it, also a bit blurry, just lower resolution. He uses his hair to build life like insects, flies, spiders, dragonflies. They look so incredibly real and are conceptually connected to his other work so well, that it is no wonder that the MoMA bought one of the flies for something like 50K. (or more?)
You can imagine our excitement when we heard that Tom Friedman will be one of the contributing artists to the summer issue of Parkett Magazine, this quite brilliant bilingual publication from Zürich, which offers a fantastic forum for contemporary artists. Each issue features several artists, who’s work is somehow cosmically or thematically connected. Renown experts and fellow artists write about them, talk about their work, interview them, and at the end of each segment there is a rare opportunity to purchase a special limited edition of a piece of Art that was created by the participating artist. Artists who participated are serious heavy weights of contemporary art at times, and so Parkett give their readers the rare chance to buy paintings by Gerhard Richter, Photographs by Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Thomas Demand, Jeff Wall... And in the current issue work by Olafur Eliasson, Rodney Graham and the superbly talented Tom Friedman.
(Oh, and all the editions have “affordable” pricing. It is actually possible to buy these works, not just think how many cars would fit into that pricetag.)
Enough said. We were very much looking forward to the Tom Friedman piece. Really. What was he going to do? What could he do that would somehow fit into his body of work, yet be a bit lower key? Press a marker through 100 sheets of paper?, make little Flies out of his hair? Carve animals out of Viagara?, would he make 100 little every day objects out of play doh? (About 1000 of those were part of his recent show at the new museum.)
We preordered the piece, blindly. I did not care what it was going to be. It would be probably small and it would be probably pretty cool. This is how I got a Thomas Demand piece, which is now sold out. A wonderful positive surprise.
The Tom Friedman piece was a bit of a surprise too. It is a wonderful piece indeed. The piece (of which there is not image online yet) is an “Unntitled” and it is 75 Styrofoam cups painted by hand in a progressively darker shade of blue stuck one into the other. The finished piece is 2" in diameter and 40" high. Edition of 75, signed and numbered. Genius. There is no way we are getting it. Really. Tom Friedman is a genius, but we live in New York, I do not have a Gallery here in the south wing of my ranch, this is an appartment here. There is no way for me to store 75 Styrofoam cups, even if they are glued together and painted with blue acrylic paint in 75 shades. The object is fantastic. If you have room, you should definitely contact parkett NOW, so you get one of those. I guarantee that they will be worth a multiple of their $1600 issue price the second you buy them. I would love to get a Tom Friedman piece, but it seems that I will have to wait. Oh boy... 40 inches high... That is pretty darn big.
You can read an interview with Tom Friedman in the current issue of in magazine, by Shu Hung.
I certainly recommend getting a subscription to Parkett, starting with the current issue perhaps? I have been collecting Parketts for several years now and they are just a real event every single time. Parkett might be the best art magazine in the world. (No?, convince me, send me copies of yours.) Good night.
Tom Friedman is represented by feature same gallery as Jerry Phillips.

1 Comment

parkett seems like an interesting art link, thanks. Way out of my price range to subscribe right now, but neat anyway.

always nice to find blogs with art links.

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This page contains a single entry by Witold published on June 6, 2002 11:08 PM.

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