Born in New York City, Glenn Friedel grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He is the brother of the musician, composer, and producer Scott Hardkiss. His great maternal uncle was Eugene Feldman, the influential printer and lithographer who taught art at The University of Pennsylvania for decades. As a youth Friedel was an outstanding athlete and not interested in art. At the age of 20 Friedel had a stroke. From that point on his passion for art appeared and grew into an obsession. He received his BA in Radio/Television from George Washington University. In 2000 he took his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Electronic Media from the American University. He has made a feature film, underdogs, which won several awards playing in multiple film festivals worldwide.
In graduate school, Friedel became somewhat frustrated with the lengthy process of filmmaking. As he progressed through the program he increasingly focused on photography as a way to execute his ideas more rapidly. Starting with black and white he quickly moved onto color negatives and slides. Always interested in experimentation and extremely affected by the photograms of Man Ray Maholy-Nagy and others, Friedel moved on to this medium. With unbridled enthusiasm he has spent nearly a decade working towards perfecting his style. Besides working as an artist, Friedel worked as a graphic designer in Virginia and taught photography and digital imaging classes at area colleges and universities from 2000 to 2006.
In the fall of 2006 Friedel moved to Brooklyn, NY to pursue his artistic endeavors fulltime. Friedelís first NYC solo show was at KFMK in Chelsea in December 2006. Among the many galleries and collectors that own his work Friedel has sold art to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and several pieces for the set design of the national TV show Army Wives.
To me the creative process is a necessity as important to living as eating and sleeping. My work swims in abstraction as I feel that only the abstract can portray the complex nuances of life in our current society; the mysterious, the confusing, the unanswered. The goal of my work is to not only make some sense out of these life consuming uncertainties but also to direct this disharmony towards positivity. In this sense I feel it is my responsibility to continue to use art as a springboard to creating harmony in the human condition.
I work with photograms- an alternative photographic process created by exposing different light sources and patterns directly onto photographic paper. I use a live model, who physically lies on the light sensitive paper, in an attempt to not only keep the theme focused on humanity but also to portray the beauty of the human form and the beauty that we all have within us. The entire process is done in complete darkness and, as a result of directly exposing light to the paper, leaves no negative- each photogram reflecting the beautiful unique in every human being. After completion a large format slide is made of each photogram and a limited edition is printed. Both the original photograms as well as the prints are for sale.
Technically speaking my interest lay in pushing the medium forward by exploring techniques that have not been thought of or fully realized. I have gone through several technological stages of my work including, but not limited to; the use of multiple exposures (which allows for multiple colors and creates depth in the static image), the use of long exposures (where movement can be recorded and manipulated), and, with my current work, the merging of photograms with traditional photography.
My photograms have progressed from the stagnant, portraying potential energy into movement and kinetic energy which I believe to be a truer representation of the power and divine within us. I have moved from simply trying to control light sources on paper to an exploration and visual representation of what people call the true self, the soul of a person. I believe this true self to be the essential link which interconnects all human beings.