Sam Friedman is a loveable guy. At least it says so in the Sharpied script on the desk in his studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Soft-spoken, boyish, married, Friedman’s personality doesn’t totally match his paintings’ vibrancy. But he explains his interest in getting out of himself—whether it be through wine, weed, sleeplessness, solitude (paradoxically getting “out of himself” by barricading himself alone in a box studio with no windows at odd hours), or shoplifting from Walmart (“everything”)… Friedman’s paintings seem to dial up another world from the one he appears to innocuously inhabit. No surprise, his earliest influence was Maurice Sendak… Friedman’s wily subconscious freely roams in his latex brushstrokes, unplanned and unforced. I myself was drawn to his paintings that incorporated lettering, recalling another world of hand-painted signage, Moroccan buses. A painting modeled off of a fireworks package, “JAMAICAN ME CRAZY,” feels like the quintessential quiet/rambunctious statement the painter himself needs to express on canvas, but not in person. It left me wondering, maybe he’s talking to himself?
Stalk Sam on http://samfriedman.wordpress.com