Jon Friedman is known for his photorealistic paintings of landscapes and natural scenes, as well as his meticulously painted portraits. Friedman began his career painting recreationally as a Philosophy student at Princeton University. He had always had an artistic leaning, but it wasn’t until his second year of graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art that he came into his own as an artist and painter.
As a student in the early 1970s, Friedman’s work tended towards abstraction, ranging from strict geometric form to more atmospheric compositions. At this time he also experimented with methods of paint application, using spray-paint and stencils in conjunction with bold, thick painterly marks. Not long after his graduation, Friedman spent a month at Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia. Stunned by the raw and unruly wilderness of the natural world, he soon began focusing his attention on landscape and representational modes of painting.
In the 1980s and 90s, Friedman shifted to illustration, working for scientific publications. At this time he began gaining recognition and was commissioned for his first portrait, quickly snowballing into a robust portraiture career. To this day he continues to work with landscapes and portraits, most recently having completed a portrait of Bill and Melinda Gates, commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA
Carnegie Institute of Washington, Washington, DC
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC