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Untitled, 2001 (detail). Photographs, museum board, and adhesive. 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm). Private collection. Untitled, 2001. Photographs, museum board, and adhesive. 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm). Passport photograph used to create Untitled, 2001. 2 x 3 inches (5.08 x 7.62 cm).
Untitled, 2001 (detail). Photographs, museum board, and adhesive. 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm). Private collection.
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Untitled, 2001. Photographs, museum board, and adhesive. 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm).
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Passport photograph used to create Untitled, 2001. 2 x 3 inches (5.08 x 7.62 cm).
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Tom Friedman

Tom Friedman’s Untitled project, created with the FWM, is the most recent of his self-portraits. Earlier endeavors have included a carving of his face on an aspirin pill and a full-body sculpture measuring five inches and carved from a block of Styrofoam.

Taken from a passport-size photograph, Friedman’s FWM collaboration is based on a mathematical formula by which 256 copies of this image were duplicated, dissected and re-configured to create an abstracted photographic self-portrait. Friedman used a similar technique to create two previous projects—a U.S. one-dollar bill and a cereal box. The images were cut into 33,072 1/4-inch squares based on a series of nearly imperceptible 1/64-inch deviations. One by one, they were then assembled to create a magnified, out-of-focus mosaic of the original self-portrait.

Friedman has said of the complexity involved in fabricating his work that it arises partly from his “inability to process everything that I’m confronted with and the idea of the whole . . . What unifies what I do is the phenomenon of taking something that is crystal clear to me, something I seem to know, and finding that the closer I get and the more carefully I inspect it, the less clear it becomes” (Tom Friedman, Phaidon Press Limited, London, 2001).

Bio
American, born 1965, lives in Northampton, Massachusetts
Tom Friedman lives in rural Western Massachusetts. He completed a BFA in graphic illustration at Washington University in St. Louis (1988), before going on to earn an MFA in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1990). Since 1995, when the Museum of Modern Art, New York, featured Friedman’s work in their Projects series, he has been the focus of many solo exhibitions, including a major show organized by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts in Winston-Salem, NC (2000), which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, among other venues. In 1993 he was awarded The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.