Daniel Friedman

Artist Statement

Art is about ideas. The art making process turns ideas into tangible objects. Artwork I am currently working on is based on ideas that originate as questions or statements, such as:
To notice the shape, contours and surfaces of objects, photograph them on a plain background.
What would a full-scale map look like?
What if the pixels in digital images were physical objects?

Photographs comprise my largest body of work. For the last few years I’ve concentrated on still-life images of natural and man-made objects on a plain background. As a photojournalist and commercial photographer I photographed thousands of people but for now I’ve settled on looking at objects and finding something interesting in the their shape, contours and surface.
The Refugee pixel series consists of individually painted 3/8-inch squares on panel. This was the best way to treat them as actual physical objects rather than creating them with a digital or photo-mechanical process. The colorful squares represent the pixels cropped out of digital images and collected for the painting.

Initially, the idea for the full-scale map paintings was imagined as a giant, Christo-like installation covering hundreds of square yards draped over the actual spot depicted in the map. In its current 52’x40’ acrylic on canvas form, I’ve made the same decisions about map conventions and artistic elements as in the colossal version, though on an affordable scale. Though the maps are accurate, they I’ve exaggerated or modified some elements to make them more fun to paint.

I have been taking printmaking classes for a year but as it is a new medium for me I am finding my style and approach with the materials and processes.