I want America to know that 2020 will be remembered for many things, but working together for a cause bigger than all of us will certainly be one of them. – Sarajo Frieden
Learn more about Wonder Woman Sarajo…
I’m a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of materials and settings. My work is informed by such disparate sources as the natural world, botany, abstraction, textiles, non-western cultures, pattern migration and breaking down barriers between the intersection of fine art, craft and design. I am a daughter of the Diaspora; my Jewish Hungarian émigré grandparents owned an embroidery shop in Los Angeles, and their home was a visual mecca filled with art books, bohemian glass, netsukes, and examples of traditional folk textiles from Hungary.
My work reflects a hybrid of these influences along with those of California’s diverse Pacific Rim communities where I was raised and continue to live.I infuse all of this into my work: a joy of color and experimentation with different mediums–acrylic, gouache, flashe, spray paint, paper, canvas, and found fabrics. I employ methodologies that include painting, collage, cut ups, sewing, intricate pattern cutting, and shaping. In the past few years, I have expanded my paintings into wall installations that I assemble on site. These methods have led to new avenues of exploration and play, creating a cast of evolving characters coalescing one way in one space, only to lead new lives in a future space.
My work is a conversation, an exploration of color, shape, line, and form. I experiment with different mediums and employ a variety of methodologies–collage, cut ups, juxtaposition–as a way of incorporating chance and cultivating surprise. I’m a hunter and gatherer of images, mining the organic and man-made, the history of abstraction, textiles, non-Western cultures, and digital imaging, to bring together a multiplicity of discordant sources. I attempt to locate new ways of knitting together disparate references while questioning how perceptions are created. A fluid relationship with the idea of what beauty can be–stumbling or walking backward into an awkward beauty–is what interests me. This way of working is useful in opening doors, dislocating preconceived outcomes, and enabling shifts of perception and the limitless possibilities they suggest.
Disparate vocabularies–the language of signifiers, symbols, and patterns–wander through my work. For years I studied dance, and I often think a more apt word to describe what I do is choreography. Playing with movement and form in two-dimensional space, I try to engage materials spontaneously, improvisationally, and deliberately. For me painting is creating a space that allows for ambiguity and invites experimentation; it’s about possibility and not knowing all the answers.