Charley Friedman / Artist Statement
The glue that binds my work together is humor. It is a psychological conduit that reflects our humanness. The crux of my art is to explore the absurd, tragic and contradictory nature of living that humor can uniquely portray from multiple tangents. Because humor has no material preference, I move between sculpture, performance, photography and video.
The most prevalent themes in my work reflect my preoccupations with how individuals, nations and cultures develop and transmit ideas and values. How we perceive each other and ourselves and how we invent systems to categorize our own egocentric worldview. The work is anchored in a particularly American or First World idiom: Pop, Post-Minimalism, with a dash of kitschy consumerism.
The work is psychological with an undying interest in eliciting emotion in the viewer, not the quick response of shock, but rather the kinds of emotions we remember from childhood. It is the guttural “Ah hah” that I desire over any formal qualities. I want my viewer to feel before he/she thinks.