HUB magazine - #13 - end of '97 issue
FUCK YOU HEROES & FUCK YOU TOO
OUTSPOKEN ARTIST GLEN E. FRIEDMAN
SPEAKS TO HUB MAGAZINE BY JAMIE BRISICK
"It all began with skating. I went to Kenter Canyon School, probably
as early as 1972, my first year in school there I was skateboarding on the
sidewalk outside the school, not even on the banks yet. I've been skating
there most of my life and that's not an exaggeration, I was probably 9 or
10 years old then, and skated the banks there ever since. Everytime I'm
out there, I stop by and take at least a few runs.
"There used to be big groups of people coming there to skate after
surfing in the morning or when the waves were flat. All of a sudden you
had these magazines coming out, SkateBoarder magazine was the shit back
then, and I noticed that the people I was skating with were all of a
sudden in the magazines, people like Tony [Alva], Jay [Adams], Stacy
[Peralta], among others . . . I was at Kenter all the time, and I took a
photography class in 7th grade, and I just started snapping photos with a
pocket instamatic, and I thought I was getting stuff that was as good, if
not better than what was in the magazines. I might've been wrong but
that's what I was thinking. . . I was feeling that it needed to be done.
"I'm very motivated by my subjects in a very personal way. For me
life and work is about passion and integrity, and I think about these
things before I decide to take photos. Sometimes I won't use my camera for
six months at a time, I'm not one of these people who just walks around
with a camera snapping photos of everything and everybody. It's a very
personal thing for me to take out my camera. Something there has to kick
my ass, and tell my brain "that's something you want to capture on film".
"The last thing I shot was Fugazi live , here in New York. They're
always motivating me, they're an incredible band, every album they make
always gets better, they sing about things that are very important to the
culture and the world we live in. They have more integrity and passion
than anyone I've ever met. Ever.
"Recently, I've been shooting a lot of landscapes and stuff like
that. I'm either motivated by the people, the situation, or by the beauty
of the circumstance, whether it's something that's aesthetic or emotional,
even political . . .
"I shoot 35 mm exclusively and I almost never shoot anything
commissioned period. I usually shoot things because I want to first, and
then maybe sell them later. Very rarely am I hired by people directly to
do specific things. I just don't like to do jobs that way, it puts too
much pressure on me. I like to shoot things that I like to shoot.
"And when it comes time to consider a job offer, if necessary I'll
ask what the client is interested in. What are the specific uses?
specs? How do they deal with the environment? Do they sell products to
the arms industry? Do they support nuclear power? Is the company involved
in any animal testing? What are the company standards? I want to know all
these things before I work for a company or even sell them a photo I have
on file . . . I can not believe how surprised these people are when they
hear these questions asked of them, as though no one ever even questioned
them before, particularly while they were waving checks in their faces. .
. and it's really sad actually that so few people seem to care. I really
believe it's the spineless apathetic attitudes, or on the other hand, the
fierce greed of others that will be the downfall of humans.
"I'm not perfect and not everything I do is, that's for sure. I'm
sure I could probably find something wrong with every project I've ever
worked on. But hopefully with experience things improve each time.
"I'm very interested in the environment and politics. These are
things that affect people's daily lives and I think it's extremely
important in the scheme of things. The only magazine I read consistently
is The Nation . . . Occasionally some music/lifestyle mags have some
interesting things . . . but you know, Magazines like Alternative Press
(not alternative at all). . . what a piece of crap that is. Interview
magazine? Total piece of shit. Details is among the worst ... most
magazines today are Worthless! . . . Editors are just putting stuffing
between advertising. Whatever happened to the idea of putting out a
magazine of things you want to put out? It's ridiculous what people put in
their magazines just to get ads. It's even worse to see that people don't
mind selling those pages for such shit to be promoted. Not to mention the
incredible amounts of paper being wasted to print such nothingness.
"I think it's great if people want to take pictures for their own
hobbies and stuff like that, but in general, people are wasting lots and
lots of film which is bad for the environment, and it's stupid, it's
wasting people's time. I don't like what I see being done with photography
today in general. To me character and composition are the most important
aspects of an image. It's trendy now to print out of focus pictures. I
think people have made it "in fashion" because there's just not that many
good photographers out there and they need an excuse to use particular
images, so they made it cool. It's the emperor's new clothes. They said
it's good so everyone thinks it's good. It's bullshit, and I'll call it
every time I see it.
"In all forms of art, I thought the goals were to try and express
ideas, and creativity, or change the world, and help people relate to
their own lives better, by sharing and communicating with them through
your creations with emotion or ideals. Unfortunately the false appetites
created by capitalism in this day and age have distorted these ideals. And
selling products, rather than ideas, has become more important to bullshit
society at large.
"WAKE THE FUCK UP ALREADY!"
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(4 full pages including center spread, all color with many photos, some
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