David Findlay Jr. Fine Art
Contact: Lee W. Findlay, Director
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In Forest as Object, his first solo show of narrative landscapes and portraits, Trey Friedman traces a poignant, ongoing journey along the edge of suburban woodlands. The twelve oil paintings to be exhibited record the collision of what the artist refers to as the "forest/object" with the forces that act upon it.
Friedman’s unblinkingly observed realist oils, completed over the past six years, and following a Van Eyck-ian technique of oil glazes over tempera, are each a depiction of an event witnessed by the artist. From Staten Island to the hills of Northwest Connecticut, Friedman scours the inconstant periphery of the woods, recording particular moments with drawings and watercolors, as preparation for the oils. Discomfited, living on the shore between man and nature, Friedman sets out to explore this fragile boundary where compellingly dissonant objects collide. He sees in himself and in others a thinly veiled disquietude with even the smallest woodland; an unease manifested in a vestigial yet active instinct for self-preservation that keeps the forests and its creatures at a discreet distance.
A particularly common sight at the shores of the forest are new homes, buildings under construction that Friedman finds to be trees scaled down and reconstructed in the abstract. Stripped and reconfigured into a systematized forest, it is here also, between studs and before sheathing, that Friedman finds a melancholy beauty. The artist does not seek an unabashed appreciation of nature, but raw honesty.
The artist is formally trained with a background in conceptual art and a degree in architecture. With an expanding provenance of prestigious painting awards and international exhibitions, Friedman draws upon an unusually comprehensive foundation to support his passion and commitment to realist painting as a vital art form. Realist painting, for me, is more concrete, more persuasive of the actuality of an event than any other medium. One well-crafted painting can divulge an astonishing amount of visual evidence, becoming a contemporary documentation of the subject, the process, and the hand of the artist.
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