Tom Friedman (American, b.1965) is a Conceptual sculptor, born in St. Louis, MO. After earning a BFA in graphic illustration from Washington University in 1988, Friedman continued his education at the University of Illinois, where he earned an MFA in sculpture in 1990. Friedman's Conceptual pieces are made from common household objects, such as toothpicks, pencils, sugar cubes, bubble gum, and dental floss, which are often arranged in detailed geometric patterns. By augmenting quotidian items in thought-provoking ways, Friedman links the realms of craft-making and Conceptual Art. For an untitled sculpture made in 1990, Friedman used his own pubic hair to create a virtually perfect spiral by maneuvering the strands around a white, rectangular bar of ordinary soap. In 1995, Friedman created another untitled work by arranging 3,000 toothpicks into an elaborate, three-dimensional starburst shape.
Friedman’s first solo exhibition took place in 1991 at Feature, Inc. in New York. Since then, his work has been exhibited at various museums and galleries throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. A significant exhibition of Friedman’s art, Tom Friedman: The Epic in the Everyday, traveled from 2000 until 2002 to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC. He currently lives in Leverett, MA.