Sunday, October 4

Tom Friedman - "1.000 Hours of Stare" and "Pencil Burst"

Right:'pencil burst', pencils, 2009 image © tom friedman Left: '1.000 hours of stare, stare on paper,1998 "Bubble gums, toilet paper, toothpicks, plastic drinking straws.... Tom Friedman transforms these ordinary, everyday materials into unexpected and beautiful artworks. Friedman's such art making has roots in a breakthrough that he experienced when he was a graduate student. Having realized that art should not be defined by its formats, he emptied his studio completely, painted everywhere white, and lighted the space with fluorescent light fixtures on the ceiling. In this almost like a sensory-depriving space, Friedman started his new explorations by bringing objects one by one, once again."
"Many years ago, I was influenced by Zen Buddhism. I had an epiphany when I heard the story about the dog. The Zen Master said to his student, "it's not 'It's a dog!' ...It's just Dog! Dog! Dog!" To me, the direct experience is what art, even what life, is all about. Subject and object can and do, in those great moments, dissolve into themselves, leaving us in simple wonder. The direct experience, the thing itself, Not Something Else ."
(From Artist Statement)" (read more here)
In 1,000 Hours of Staring (1992-97), a blank piece of paper stared by himself for 1,000 hours, Friedman raises questions about the boundaries that have been drawn around artistic activities.

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