Tom Friedman, Stephen Friedman Gallery

Had the pleasure of bumbling (#ForeverBumbling) up to Stephen Friedman Gallery for a private view on Friday evening. Wayne Gonzalez was a little too limp to be impressive for me, consisting of gouache pieces resembling an effect you can get on Photoshop. Maybe I’m being more impertinent than your step-mother who you call by first name, but Gonzalez was a bit #Yawn.

I fumbled for a cigarette and noted that London air is getting increasingly more stony. And on the other side of the street spied a BigBlueFigure, smooth and fucking absurd standing alone and occupying the entirety of the single room. I provide the following visual lest I rant describing it:

Courtesy of SF TwitterCourtesy of

The self-portrait piece of sculpted foam features a delicate figure looking into its hollow right eye; a delicate detail with a something whimsical about it, as the figure creates a tiny shadow at the entrance of the eye by obscuring the gallery light. My immediate thought upon learning what material it was of consisted of Friedman’s piece being used as a giant life buoy in the rooftop pool of some silly 5-star hotel. Themes of introspection are always vague and subjective enough to be a hot conversation topic, and simultaneously aligns well with the surreal nature of the strange-solemn inhuman expression that spans its body language which is outstretched like a landscape. Needless to say, it is a piece unusual to the point that it numbly stuns.

If you so happen to be looking for an interesting living room piece – with that simplicity-complexity paradox we all love so much – which can procure some great pseudo-intellectual debate… Tom Friedman’s BigBlueFigure is valued at 20, 000 and certainly more enthralling than that marble fountain you intended to install.



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