RA Friedman

RA Friedman


    Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

    The Covid-19 Portrait Project

    Artist's Biography

    RA Friedman has followed a career-long passion for the human figure's ability to convey intimate and complex states of being. Adept at photography, drawing, and recrafting older technologies, his unique approach to creative inquiry involves the interplay between the objectivity of the camera and the subjectivity of the hand-made. His projects often reach out directly to the public as participants and creative partners.

    Artist's Statement

    I am an explorer looking for the elusive figure in an even more elusive space; that glimmer of the transcendent caught out of the corner of your eye just before the light faded. Bits and pieces find me through the process of experiment over long periods of time. I do my best to piece them together again.

    Selected Exhibitions

    Figurative Alchemy, Center for Arts and History, Lewiston, ID

    Silver, Carbon and Brass, Ven and Vaida, Philadelphia, PA

    A Cabinet of Photographic Curiosities, AxD Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Postcards from the Edge, Visual AIDS, New York, NY

    Postcards from the Edge, Visual AIDS, New York, NY

    In the Devil's House, Stephen Romano Gallery, New York, NY

    Eye of the Beholder, Pratt Manhattan, New York, NY

    Postcards from the Edge, Visual AIDS, New York, NY

    Postcards from the Edge, Visual AIDS, New York, NY

    Spirit Photography, Merchant's House Museum, New York, NY
    With Sally Mann and Hal Hirshorn

    Art at Glam, Glam Nightclub, Philadelphia, PA

    Photo Image '07, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Variety Show, Falling Cow Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    Artist's Bibliography

    "Artist Looks Back on 1 Year of Painting Portraits of Those Lost to Coronavirus" Interview, NBC10 TV, Philadelphia, PA, March 11, 2021

    Interview, Art Watch Podcast, January 20, 2021

    Interview, WPTV, West Palm Beach, FL, July 24, 2020

    Philly Artist Draws Pictures of Those Lost to Coronavirus, NBC10 TV, Philadelphia, PA, July 15, 2020

    McBride, Dara, "Portraits from the Pandemic," Broad Street Review, July 27, 2020

    Salisbury, Stephan, "This artist has been on a mission to draw Philadelphians claimed by coronavirus. Now he’s looking for others to help," The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 6, 2020

    "Film versus Digital through RA Friedman's Look," Shootingfilm.net, April


    The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, January

    The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, January

    The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, January

    Peau Magazine, Summer

    "Submission Monday," Oitzarisme.ro, Romania, July 6, 2015

    F-Stop Magazine, April

    "Hero of the Week," What A Roll, Spain, April

    The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, February

    Sun Magazine, November

    The Laboratory Arts Collective Magazine, September

    Supplementaire, United Kingdom, Issue #7, February

    Professional Experience

    2017 - Present
    Pratt Institute, New York, NY
    Teacher: Continuing & Professional Studies, Drawing, Analog Photography

    Tacony Lab, Mural Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Teacher: Drawing, Pinhole and Digital Photography

    Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Teacher, Continuing Education: Pinhole Photography, Digital Photography I and II, High School Intensive in Photography


    Lewis and Clark State College, Lewiston, ID

    Residency included a pinhole photography class for college photo students, faculty lecture, and pinhole light painting workshop in tandem with exhibition of pinhole work at the Center for Arts and History,Lewiston

    Public Projects

    Founded 2020
    The Covid-19 Portrait Project, USA

    Friedman and invited artists draw portraits of Philadelphians (now all US residents) lost to Covid-19. Source photos are taken either from public sources on the web or sent to the artist by family members. By producing hand drawn images of those who have perished and then creating slide photographs of them for a projection-installation, Friedman memorializes individual lives and reflects them in dialogue with their humanity.

    Founded 2008
    Tsirkus Fotografika (The Circus of Photography)

    A sponsored project of Fractured Atlas. Originally, a traveling, large-format, vintage portrait studio designed to bring the creative stage to communities. Project is now focused on community-based drawing projects.

    2016 - 2020
    NYC Film Photography Meet-up

    Organizer for a group of over 800 film photography enthusiasts.

    Photographers Squared, with Mindy Veissid

    A $17,000 book project funded on Kickstarter to discover the authentic in the American landscape and to inspire high school and college students. The project traveled to five US locales, photographing the same subjects on medium format film (Friedman) and digitally (Veissid). Concurrently, they met with students and enthusiasts in each area.

    2012 - 2014
    The Concrete Muse

    A weekly image email and blog focusing on the Philadelphia urban landscape, black and white photography, and printmaking.

    The Big Nude Photo Shoot

    Philadelphia Fringe Festival, a large-scale figurative work shot on large-format instant film funded via Kickstarter.

    Journeys South, Philadelphia Mural Arts

    Funded $20,000 project residency to create photo portraits in the South 7th Street neighborhood of Philadelphia that went into a giant zoetrope.


    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
    MFA, Painting

    Harpur College, SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton, NY
    BA, Technical Theatre