Julius Friedman, a longtime friend and honorary member of UCDA, is the subject of a recently published book entitled Julius Friedman: Images & Ideas. The lavish, 256 page, full-color book is more than a monograph, though. While it does indeed chronicle his significant body of posters, books, and photographs, it offers the viewer the pleasure of looking at the world through his eyes.
Images & Ideas lets us walk through the natural world with Julius, seeing how he sees and interprets it. We're offered a look into his incredible farm and studio, nestled in the gorgeous Kentucky countryside just east of his hometown of Louisville. We're also treated to images of one of the ways Julius "plays" at his farm: his many stacked rock sculptural pieces, appearing in the fields around his country home like ancient and mysterious cairns.
Friedman's book is divided into four sections--Inspiration, Collaboration, Books, and Posters. I was honored when Julius asked me to write the essay that opens the section on Inspiration. Of course, it was an easy task, as Julius has been an inspiration to me since I met him almost 20 years ago. We met at the UCDA conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, and have been dear friends ever since.
Above: Poster for the Tell City Chair Company, Tell City, Indiana.
It was in Saratoga Springs that the concept for the Hot and Now workshops was developed. At dinner one evening, Jody Zamirowski, Chris Klonowski, Julius, and I discussed the need for creating a forum that would get designers out of their offices and away from their clients to rediscover what they loved about design: the joy of visual and conceptual exploration. We had a grand time facilitating the workshop with UCDA members for 14 years and were always astounded at the images that were created during those weekend adventures. Happily, the workshop lives on as Insight, a digital version of the same concept, coordinated by Tadson Bussey, Richard Jividen, and Jody Zamirowski.
Now that I'm teaching, I was quick to purchase a copy for our university's library. Friedman's book offers my students living proof that concept is far from dependent upon technology.
Above right: Fresh Paint, a poster for the The Kentucky Arts Commission exhibition received the Gold Medal from the New York Art Directors Show and many other awards. Middle:A poster created for American pop artist Jim Dine. Right: Stacked rock sculptural piece.
Whether or not you had the pleasure of working with Julius Friedman at a Hot and Now workshop, I recommend Images & Ideas as a book that will give you the joyful experience of seeing the world through the eyes of an artist who never fails to see the beauty of the everyday. Give yourself the opportunity to play with Julius for a while. You won't be sorry.
To order, go to www.butlerbooks.com.
Above: Cheryl's Paint Box, portrait of artist Cheryl Chapman, close-up photograph of her painting palette (one in a series).