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Monday, January 24, 2011

Featured Artist...James Friedman

Art defines itself in many ways depending on who is viewing it. For some Art is beauty captured in nature, human form, colors, presentation to name a few. For others it is a cohesive concept that presented as a body of work, speaks and makes you return to look again.

"The Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing" is one of those projects, by James Friedman, inspired by his mother's passing.

"...I do not remember any kissing between family members as I was growing up.  It wasn't until my mother was hospitalized for eight months, unable to speak, that we began to kiss good-bye before I would depart for the day after visiting her. These newly discovered displays of affection were imbued with genuine caring and profound sadness as we both know she had only a short time to live. Our relationship in my mother's final months inspired my photographic project."

A difficult time period, no doubt, yet James reaches deep inside and finds a meaning to explore. Perhaps it's times like that when one goes or is driven way inside that we see what would be normally apparent to our eyes but seen differently through our souls and brought to life by the artist within. 
There is a beautiful line in Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert..."..Ever since my roof burned down, I can see the moon more clearly."

James started very young, at five, with his Brownie Hawkeye camera. Self taught his interests continued till college where he earned an B.F.A. degree with distinction in photography. Later, while earning an M.A. degree in photography from San Francisco State University, he worked as an assistant to Imogen Cunningham, one of the preeminent figures in the history of photography.

As a teacher, curator, picture editor, and as a fine art, portrait, architectural, commercial and personal documentary photographer, he has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in photography. His work has been exhibited internationally and been published in numerous books and discussed in Artforum, Arts, Afterimage, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice and The New York Times. Selected from 800 international applicants, James was awarded the Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowship and has been the recipient of seven Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. Winning the 2011 Governor's Award for the Arts in Ohio, he was honored as an individual artist whose work has made a significant impact on his discipline nationally, regionally or statewide. In 2008, as an independent photographic educator without institutional affiliation, he was nominated for the prestigious Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding international teachers of photography.

 James has many projects. Among them all this one can be found here..


  1. Wonderful to see your work here, Jim!

  2. Interesting project idea. I took a number of picture of public affection when I was in Spain a number of years ago because I was missing my girlfriend. The explanation of your project helps quite a bit. Best of fortune with this.


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