Please God, don't let Steve Lauf publish this picture.
behind the first self portrait
... We were well aware of what museum board was, and immediately 'joked' at how easy it would be "to just take one of those boxes." As we drove back down Broad Street, Bill and Jeff became increasingly greedy, which prompted me to say, "If that's the case, I'll pull over right now, and you two can walk back to school."
Stephen Lauf, Self Portrait (3 panels: pencil and ink on museum board, 60" x 40" each panel, 1983-84).
I wanted to created something that would manifest endurance and determination, so I lightly scored three large museum boards with pencil lines spaced 3/16" apart which resulted with 317 40" long demarcated spaces running down the length of each board. From here the mission was to simply fill each line of space from edge to edge with hand-written text using a Pelican Graphos pen with nib A.1. I had to lay on the board(s) on the floor of my living room in order to write, and the text records whatever came into my mind at the exact time that I was working/writing on the project. It did not take long for this 'self portrait' to also often act as a confessional.
Self Portrait (1983-84) began 14 August 1983 with approximately 80 lines filled within 6 weeks. The project then lay dormant until 15 July 1984, and the first board was completely filled by 30 July 1984. The second board was completely filled by 29 August 1984, and the third board was completely filled by 6 September 1984.
On 29 September 2002 I became familiar with the following:
Tom Friedman, Hot Balls, 1992. About 200 stolen balls, stolen from shops by the artist over a six month period, arranged on the floor.
Tom Friedman, Untitled, 1990. The artist's signature written on the wall in a spiral until the pen has run out of ink.
Tom Friedman, 1,000 Hours of Staring, 1992-97. A piece of paper the artist has stared at for one thousand hours. [If I recall correctly, the quickest I got on Self Portrait was 18 lines an hour, that's 720 inches or 60 feet, with each line averaging 150-200 words.]
Tom Friedman, Secrets, 1997. The artist's secrets written on a piece of paper as small as possible so they can't be read.