Artist Statement

My studio process manifests through drawing, painting, ceramics, writing, staging, and directing plays. Although multidisciplinary, my practice is housed in drawing and painting. In my ongoing Everyday Drawings (EVD) series I mesh modes of drawing, painting, and collage on a page. I incorporate observational drawing from moments of personal looking (watching plants grow on my fire escape, focusing in on parts of artworks in museums, and observing the progression of works in my studio). The handwritten text becomes a texture and is a mixture of self-dialogue stream of consciousness, quotes, and dates. I combine these zones of working with indexical marks, such as rubbings of surfaces in my immediate surroundings, tracings of found and made objects and cut photocopies from my growing archive. Some compositions echo a calendar’s patchwork grid, while others consist of an allover pattern punctuated by bold text or a shape. Bright applied and inherent colors (from collage elements) and borders abound. I employ the daily routines of marking off days with a diagonal line on a wall calendar and jotting down lists while making these pictures. These works are self-reflexive and transparent. They show the process or their making and the context they are made in. I work in a range of traditional painterly materials (oil, acrylic, gouache, pastel) alongside experimental and rudimentary media like crayons, tin can lids, lighting gels, and reflective Mylar. The EVDs illuminate my research on ideas of time as non-linear, subjective, and unhinged from the Western originated Gregorian calendar.

My work is imbued with ritual and propelled by the momentum of making. I forefront my studio physicality by writing, staging, and directing plays. These are part of an adjacent way of working or type of work (2015-ongoing) I call, Performance Proposals (PP). PP’s give me a structure to conjure a world outside of myself where my works can live and be activated. Their imagery and materials develop in tandem with a script I write (which is an accumulation of research and hands-on making). Operating in the Poets Theater mindset of serious silliness and spontaneous life-art happenings, since 2018, I have staged six different iterations of a building play I have written, Helen Rides. It pulls from research on the overlooked esoteric Beat poet, Helen Adam, and her writing. The Performance Proposal (Helen Rides) works take different forms: large shaped fabric and paper paintings, oil on stretched linen, mixed media drawings, costumes, puppet paintings, ceramic stage lights and instruments, and beyond.

Amanda Friedman
6/7/21, NYC