The Subliminal Projects gallery in Los Angeles, Calif. is currently exhibiting its inaugural exhibition with legendary photographer Glen E. Friedman. Friedman's Idealist Propaganda encompasses the artist's first major retrospective to date, featuring a rare selection of Friedman's oeuvre, including twenty-five never before exhibited photographs from his celebrated iconic photos of the pioneering skate, punk and hip-hop subcultures to his equally political and polarized subject matter of the natural world. Idealist Propaganda is a transcendent exhibition and ultimately Friedman's most definitive creative and philosophical statement.
For Idealist Propaganda, Friedman exhibits his prolific collection in salon style, sampling seminal, never before seen photos from his Fuck You All collection, in addition to previously shown works in his The Idealist solo exhibition of 2004 and Fuck You All international touring exhibition, which include his Fuck You Heroes and Fuck You Too series. On display for the first time ever are images from his Recognizemonograph, a dramatic and overt manifesto of aesthetic idealism, compressed and recontextualized through the singular, yet challenging and amorphous nature of clouds. Through these uninhibited photographs, brilliantly captured mostly from within the clouds themselves, Friedman seeks to reintroduce a raw, beautiful, and vital way of seeing the world.
Stemming from his The Idealist fine art series, Friedman's show is a cornucopia of measured decisions, "every piece is purely there for aesthetic, and to excite." Radical, charismatic, and unapologetic, Friedman's photographs are an extension of his beliefs, social and political; "The work speaks for itself for those tuned in or not." Through his own personal propaganda, Friedman's goal has always been to inspire people. "I feel a personal responsibility to inspire rebellion - to be inspired," he says. As a 13 year old just beginning to explore the world through his simple Pentax camera lens, he believed being a participant was "really important and wanted to change what people did and thought." Drawing inspiration from the Renaissance artists he admired, Friedman challenged himself to become a master craftsman in his own right. His radicalized photography is saturated with deep color, rich texture, and intricate composition, producing a pulsing political energy that is undeniable, "Like a punch in the face!" Whether its from the skateboards of Dogtown, Run DMC, and Public Enemy, or Minor Threat and Black Flag, Glen E. Friedman's work captures his subjects as the recognized and respected artistic zeitgeists inherent to their being.
On display and never before exhibited will also be a selection of some of the twenty-five images added to the second, updated edition of The Idealist book, ten photographic images of Friedman's Recognize cloud series in traditional frames, and two oversized images from the same collection mounted on aluminum. On loan from Shepard Fairey's personal collection will be one of the original window display signs and photograph from the "Liberty Street Protest," a large-scale provocative anti-war installation created by Friedman in 2004, with the assistance of artists' Chris Habib and Shepard Fairey. On the property of Friedman's long-time friend Russell Simmons, located across the street from 9-11 Ground Zero in New York City at the World Trade Center before the Republican National Convention, the site-specific public art project ignited international awareness which continues to resonate.