Every breath you take is a breath that is provided to you by plants.
-Robin Wall Kimmerer
Sarajo Frieden is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores issues such as our relationship to the natural world, diasporic communities and pattern migration, and a fascination with the intersection between art and craft. Borrowing from a hybrid of influences, her works on paper, muslin and canvas explore a range of contemporary visual art vocabulary, including painting, western and non-western textile traditions, and the complex patterns and interplay of organic and geometric designs. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including at The Atrium at Helms Design Center, Cerritos College, Torrance Art Museum, Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Los Angeles), TSA (NY), and Launch LA gallery. Frieden has received fellowships to the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Residency (New Berlin, NY) and the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vt).
She has been an invited guest lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, California State University at Long Beach, Cerritos College, and Art Center College of Design. For several decades her work has appeared in graphic novels, illustrated books, film titles, publications, and on textiles and packaging.
“I’m a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of materials and settings. My work is informed by such disparate sources as the natural world, botany, abstraction, textiles, non-western cultures, pattern migration and breaking down barriers between the intersection of fine art, craft and design. I am a daughter of the Diaspora; my Jewish Hungarian émigré grandparents owned an embroidery shop in Los Angeles, and their home was a visual mecca filled with art books, bohemian glass, netsukes, and examples of traditional folk textiles from Hungary. My work reflects a hybrid of these influences along with those of California’s diverse Pacific Rim communities where I was raised and continue to live.
For years I studied dance, and I think of my work as an ongoing series of choreographed interactions through an exploration of line, color, shape, volume and pattern. Exploring color, in particular, is to engage a diasporic wanderer; to speak and shape an ever-shifting multilingual vocabulary. As with the language of signifiers, symbols and patterns, color serves as a way to both wonder and know. Playing with movement and form in two-dimensional space, I try to engage materials spontaneously, improvisationally, and deliberately. I infuse all of this into my work: a joy of color and experimentation with different mediums-acrylic, gouache, flashe, spray paint, paper, canvas, and found fabrics. I employ methodologies that include painting, collage, cut ups, sewing, intricate pattern cutting, and shaping as a way to incorporate chance and cultivate surprise. I’m interested in stumbling or walking backwards into an awkward beauty. This method of working is useful in opening doors, dislocating preconceived outcomes, and enabling shifts of perception. Painting creates a space that allows for ambiguity and invites experimentation; it’s about possibility and not knowing all the answers.”
On display at Helms Design Center for one week beginning 7.24.20
All artwork is copyrighted work of the artist. All rights reserved. Images not to be used without permission.