Trent Morse, writing in Artnews, describes Tom Friedman’s work as coming with “a smirk and a wink.” This is indeed the case with Untitled (Peeing Figure) from 2012, which is cleverly positioned in the Pizzuti Collection sculpture garden facing a wall while in the act of its title.
Untitled (Peeing Figure) is eight feet tall and shines in silvery cast steel. Were it not for these features, the figure would certainly seem like a surreptitious and bawdy trespasser. His pants are bunched down at his ankles and viewers catch him in flagrante delicto.
Once the shock of the subject has been registered, the sculpture’s materials come into view. Friedman formed Untitled (Peeing Figure) by casting aluminum foil and disposable oven tins in gleaming stainless steel, making this monumental figure a mash up of unexpected materials and suggestive humor. Contrast is a hallmark of Friedman’s radically diverse body of work. Whether displaying a minuscule piece of his own feces or an enormous Styrofoam wall sculpture of a veggie pizza, Friedman revels in upending expectations and highlighting the contrasts between first impression and further investigation.
Tom Friedman (b. 1965 in Saint Louis, MO) lives and works in Massachusetts.