With the skills of a master craftsman, the obsessiveness of a teenage model-airplane builder, and the sense of humor and world view of a conceptual, self-defeatist prankster, Tom Friedman constructs works of art that defy cynical, uptight ...
abstractionists and bored, foggy-eyed slouchers. Here is a man who carved his self-portrait out of an aspirin tablet; who built a standing figure, over a meter tall, out of sugar cubes; who suspended a perfect pink sphere in the corner of a room by making it out of thousands of pieces of bubble gum (which kept it stuck there just right); and who created an ephemeral floor sculpture using red eraser shavings from who knows how many pencils. And let's not forget the perfectly detailed, to-scale sculptures of spiders, flies, and bees that seem to simply alight on the corner of a museum pedestal. Or the minty-blue monochrome wall-work made entirely of toothpaste. Or the piece of paper that had been stared at for 1,000 hours. In this hefty two-volume set, which comes slipped together in a quirky, tactile case, Friedman's anti-monumental oeuvre is presented in two parts. First comes an artist's book, conceived by Friedman himself and containing drawings, photographs and sketches. Book number two is a thorough catalogue in which the whole of the artist's output is described and analyzed, accompanied by his own writings and essays by Robert Storr, John Miller, Glenn D. Lowry, Dennis Cooper and John Waters, amongst others.