Michael Freed | Adam Rosen
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Terrace Disc Series
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Adam Rosen and Michael Freed collaborate to create stimulating, intriguing, and evocative sculpture that enliven outdoor living areas and large interior spaces. While collaborations in art making, notoriously can be a challenging process for artists, Freed and Rosen have found a viable solution in their efforts with 2 Pt. Their collaborations have been discovered by an audience that is drawn to their shared aesthetic of bold gestures, compelling yet spare compositions, and attention to surfaces that employ vibrant colors or natural patinas in rust.
According to Freed, “We had worked together on various projects in the past involving steel, using design elements and functional forms for a variety of clients, designers, as well as for our own individual homes and studios.
“We each have individual art careers, Adam primarily as a sculptor, while I work mostly figuratively with charcoal and mixed media, as well as some sculptural forms of my own. Our individual interests and directions in our work are very different. But we discovered an aesthetic appreciation where we overlapped that began to gel during our times of working together on various projects over the years, so we decided to explore that.”
Rosen adds, “I don’t think either one of us had ever thought much about collaborative works in the past, but we decided to give it a shot and just see if we could bring individual aesthetics into a tandem, or two-point creative approach to the process.
“I think the real test was to see if we could bounce ideas around without attachment, create some works that were truly an engaging visual dialogue that felt equal in contributions as well as results. The first effort was a test in that regard and we agreed that it had to work for both of us, if we were going to develop a part time collaboration outside our own career paths. So that’s how it began and now, here we are.”
Steel and other metals comprise the primary media 2 Pt. utilizes in their work. Pushing the materials to present unexpected dynamics, directions, or visual twists is what distinguishes their work. Often, components that are “found” and have had past lives in structural or previously fabricated forms are integrated within the compositions. One of the strengths in their work is the dynamic created between milled steel and elements of tension introduced as a confrontation to previously held expectations. Aspects of their sculpture frequently adjust or slightly move with wind or the weight of snow or rain. The changing light over the course of the day plays with the shadows of the forms as well.
Some works are powder coated in bright, vibrant shades of color to command a presence while others are treated to expedite rust and natural tones in the oxidation process for a natural, organic feel that blends into the setting.
Each work is an individually created piece tooled by hand. No works are machined, cast or replicated as editions. Some works assume shapes and proportions within a series, and carry that series’ name, but each is completely unique and fabricated individually.
Michael Freed has lived in Santa Fe for 22 years. Originally from Oklahoma, he holds a BFA from the art school at The University of Oklahoma and a BA in Journalism.
He has exhibited as a solo artist and group shows for over 30 years in Santa Fe as well as Oklahoma City, and in projects in San Francisco, and New York City.
Adam Rosen has lived in Santa Fe for 13 years. Born in Pennsylvania, he attended Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY earning a BA in Classics, followed by an MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, in sculpture.
He has been commissioned for large public works sculptures that can be seen in Warrenton, Virginia, and has smaller sculpture in various collections around the U.S. He’s also created and installed innumerable custom steel architectural designs that can be seen in many significant homes around Santa Fe.
My grandparents had a farm in Northwestern Oklahoma near the small towns where I was raised. Spending time with them in regular visits often meant exploring their acreage in solo wanderings around the barn, coops, and storage sheds. Later, as a teen, I spent three summers driving a tractor for my uncle pulling various implements around the fields.
Early on, as I surveyed the various steel fabrications engineered for farming needs, I was conscious of the aesthetic beauty found in these implements for growing and harvesting food. Of particular interest to me were the rows of discs in the Disc Plow.
These steel discs aligned in two rows are a staple in tilling the soil and turning it over to prepare it for the next planting. Each disc spends thousands of hours performing a herculean task. A farmer can sharpen these round soil-cutters only so many times before replacing the whole row becomes necessary. Most often these used steel discs are left to rust in a metal pile or sometimes transformed into a variety of jerry-rigged purposes around the barnyard.
I decided to repurpose these utilitarian objects into a new life as a work of art. Welding, then grinding away the rust and scale, then leafing them with precious metals gives them a new aesthetic in interior living spaces. Powder coating in metallic or colorful exterior finishes gives them an artistic presence in gardens, under portals, or against stone walls. As a single element of focus, clustered together, or hung in a row… these workhorses of agriculture are transformed into abstract sculptural elements in collectors’ homes and outdoor spaces adding beauty and elegance to their environment.
To create an object that instigates a sensory experience and thus makes people feel is my goal. Industrial materials working harmoniously as an organic object with the method of construction determining the outcome is the current focus of my exploration. The material reacts to my manipulation, creating a balance between control over the material and a submission to its physical properties. Systems of ordering and sequences of numbers are the impetus for this current investigation. I create a system for fabrication and then carry out the system as long as the material will allow. Every dimension and angle is related to the overall aesthetic presented to the viewer. Movement, implied or literal, is also an integral part of my work. It shows balance and grace as well as engaging the eye of the viewer. The process by which the objects are made is important and not concealed. Viewing the work critically permits the more complex aspects of the process to support the objects’ aesthetic.
I am interested in the primacy of a physical response so it is important that the work creates an immediate reaction from the viewer. Thus the size of the objects tend to relate to the human scale or larger. The work engages the viewer with a physical sensory experience. This feeling leads the viewer to a personal reflection resulting in a better understanding of oneself. I strive to embellish and elucidate the transformative power of an aesthetic object. I see the world as sculpture. Everything is made of lines; lines forming curves; and curves making shapes that are geometric and organic. I am trying to reconcile my technologically inundated environment with a basic structure and system of nature.
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