Glen E. Friedman

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Glen E. Friedman
Glen Ellis Friedman[citation needed]

(1962-03-03) March 3, 1962 (age 61)
North Carolina, United States
Known forPhotography

Glen Ellis Friedman (born March 3, 1962) is an American photographer[1] and artist. He became known for his activities within rebellious skateboarding and music cultures. Photographing artists Fugazi,[2] Black Flag,[2] Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, Minor Threat, Misfits, Bad Brains, Beastie Boys,[2] Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, Run-DMC,[2] KRS-One, and Public Enemy,[2] as well as classic skateboarding originators Tony Alva,[2] Jay Adams,[2] Alan Gelfand, Duane Peters, and Stacy Peralta, among others.

Friedman's photography has been published in over a dozen of his books as well as in many other publications, including record covers,[2][3] and has been exhibited in art galleries and museums internationally.[2] His work is held in various photography collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.[4]

Early life[edit]

As a pre-teen Friedman rode skateboards in the embanked schoolyards of West Los Angeles along with others who would revolutionize the activity.[5] In late 1976, while he was still in junior high school, Friedman corralled some of his friends, who were beginning to be featured in magazines, into riding in an empty swimming pool so he could make pictures.[5] He showed the results to a freelance SkateBoarder writer, who put Friedman in touch with the editor. SkateBoarder published photographs by Friedman as a full-page subscription advertisement. He soon after became their youngest staff member.[5]


Several years later Friedman began to photograph at punk shows. Black Flag received some of their first media documentation through Friedman's work.[6] In 1981, he photographed his first record album cover, Adolescents by Adolescents.[7] As well as many other punk record covers including Minor Threat's Salad Days EP. Friedman's self-published punk zine, My Rules: Photozine (1982), sold 10,000 copies and was the largest selling zine of the era.[8]

Friedman managed punk band Suicidal Tendencies[2][3] and in 1983 produced their eponymous debut album.[3]

In 1985, Friedman was introduced to Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, after creating some memorable Beastie Boys photos, before they were widely known. Friedman began working with them and their newly formed Def Jam Records, promoting Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy,[3] Ice-T and Run-DMC.[2] He also photographed many of their album covers and publicity materials, including the covers of Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and [3] Beastie Boys' Check Your Head.[9] Many of his photographs have become recognized as the subjects' definitive portraits.[10] In 1987 he relocated back to New York.

Friedman has collaborated with artist Shepard Fairey, many times, including limited edition prints based on Friedman's photographs.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

In 2004, Friedman created the "Liberty Street Protest" at Ground Zero in New York City. Its provocative anti-war sentiment received attention internationally. It was "re-visited" in 2010 in support of Freedom of Religion, and the placement of a mosque a few blocks away from Ground Zero in New York City.[19]

In 2012, Friedman was inducted as an "Icon" into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Friedman is a progressive political activist, shuns intoxicants (straight edge), and follows a vegan diet.[22][23] He lives in New York City.[5]


  • My Rules: Photozine. Self-published, 1982.
  • Fuck You Heroes: Glen E. Friedman photographs 1976–1991. Self-published / Burning Flags, 1994. ISBN 0-9641916-0-1. With an introduction by C.R. Stecyk III. A collection of his better-known photographs of skateboarding, punk, and hip hop subcultures spanning 1976 to 1991.
  • Fuck You Too: The Extras + More Scrapbook. ConSafos, 1996. Second edition, 2005. ISBN 0-9656535-0-1. With commentary by C.R. Stecyk III and an afterword by Sam Sifton.
  • The Idealist
    • The Idealist: Glen E. Friedman – In My Eyes – 20 Years. ConSafos, 1998. ISBN 978-0965653541.
    • The Idealist: Glen E. Friedman – In My Eyes – 25 Years (1976–2001). Self-published / Burning Flags, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9641916-5-5.
  • Dogtown: The Legend of the Z-Boys. Self-published / Burning Flags, 2000. C.R. Stecyk III and Glen E. Friedman. ISBN 0-9641916-4-4.
    • Dogtown: The Legend of the Z-Boys – Expanded edition. Akashic / Burning Flags, 2019. C.R. Stecyk III and Friedman. ISBN 1617756997.
  • Recognize. Self-published / Burning Flags, 2005. ISBN 0-9641916-6-0. With a preface by Peter Lamborn Wilson.
  • Keep Your Eyes Open: The Fugazi Photographs of Glen E. Friedman. Self-published / Burning Flags, 2007. ISBN 0-9641916-8-7.
    • Akashic / Burning Flags, 2019. Expanded second edition ISBN 1617757004. With an introduction by Ian F. Svenonius.
  • My Rules. Rizzoli, 2014. ISBN 0847843556. A different publication than the 1982 publication of the same name.
  • Together Forever: The Run-DMC and Beastie Boys Photographs of Glen E. Friedman. Rizzoli, 2019. ISBN 0847866475. With an introduction by Chris Rock.
  • What I See: The Black Flag Photographs of Glen E. Friedman. Akashic / Burning Flags, 2022. First edition. ISBN 163614036X. With an introduction by Chuck Dukowski.
  • Just a Minor Threat: The Minor Threat Photographs of Glen E. Friedman. Akashic / Burning Flags, 2023. First edition. ISBN 1636141366.

Films with contributions by Friedman[edit]

  • A Look Back at DogTown and Z-Boys (2021) – director, producer, cinematographer
  • Dogtown and Z-Boys (2001) – co-producer and creative consultant
  • No No: A Dockumentary (2014) – associate producer and creative consultant
  • Saving Banksy (2017) – himself
  • Obey Giant (2017) – himself

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Fuck You All, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 1997; Sydney, 1998; Tokyo, 1998; Rome, 1998; Florence, 1998; Milan, 1998; Berlin, 1999; Stockholm, 1999; Chicago, 1999; Washington, D.C., 2000; Philadelphia, 2000; Stockholm, 2000; Los Angeles, 2002; Antwerp, Belgium, 2007; Krakow, Poland, 2009; Dublin, 2010; San Francisco, 2010;[24] Canary Islands, Spain, 2014.
  • The Idealist, Los Angeles, 2004
  • Idealist Propaganda, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, 2008 [25] Retrospective exhibition.
  • My Rules, ATP Gallery at 14 Henrietta St, London, November 21, 2014 – January 18, 2015.[26]
  • The Burning Flags Tour, Barcelona, Spain, 2022; [27] Paris, France 2023 [28]


Friedman's work is held in the following public collections:


  1. ^ Moses, Jeanette (September 16, 2014). "Documentary Glen E. Friedman on the Golden Eras of Skateboarding, Punk Rock, and Hip Hop". American Photo. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Cooper, Leonie (November 25, 2014). "Glen E Friedman: playing by his own rules". Dazed. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e Fox, Killian (November 29, 2014). "Beats, punks and stunts: the photography of Glen E Friedman". The Guardian. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  4. ^ "Metropolitan Museum of Art". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d Glen E. Friedman. "Official Biography". Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  6. ^ Fuck You Heroes Archived May 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Introduction by C.R. Stecyk III
  7. ^ "The Adolescents", Artistdirect. Accessed June 13, 2015.
  8. ^ "There's Something Hard in There: A look inside the 'My Rules' photozine with man behind the lens Glen e. Friedman". March 3, 2012.
  9. ^ Kellner, Amy (January 1, 2013). "Behind the Cover Photo: On Digging Up a Super-Rare Shot of Adam Yauch". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  10. ^ Warp magazine Archived May 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, February 1995 – Glen E. Friedman – Photos from the Edge by Ian Christie.
  11. ^ Fairey, Shepard. "Rollins 81". Retrieved May 1, 2011.
  12. ^ Fairey, Shepard. "Keith Morris Prints".
  13. ^ "Ice-T og (Blue)".
  14. ^ "Public Enemy". Obey Giant.
  15. ^ "Jeff Ho Zephyr (Gold)".
  16. ^ "Jello Biafra". Obey Giant.
  17. ^ "Cornel West Print".
  18. ^ "Bad Brains Collaboration Print". Obey Giant.
  19. ^ Harshbarger, Rebecca (August 25, 2010). "Rap mogul's 'paned' plea for tolerance". New York Post. Archived from the original on September 27, 2010.
  20. ^ "2012 Skateboarding Hall of Fame Induction". Transworld Business. May 2012.
  21. ^ "Skateboarding Hall of Fame 2012 Inductees".
  22. ^ "Glen E. Friedman". Herbivore Magazine. Fall 2003. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007.
  23. ^ ""If it's not your life then get the fuck out" – A Chat with Glen E. Friedman (2010)". American Suburb X. November 8, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  24. ^ "Photo Ireland Festival" Archived June 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Photo Ireland
  25. ^ Weiss, Jeff (December 14, 2008). "Idealist Propaganda: The Raw Power of Glen E. Friedman". LA Weekly. Archived from the original on January 21, 2009.
  26. ^ Fox, Killian (November 29, 2014). "Glen E Friedman's photographs from the births of hip-hop and hardcore punk – in pictures". The Guardian. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  27. ^ López, John (June 8, 2022). "Entrevista a Glen E. Friedman (Burning Flags Tour Barcelona)". Centralzine. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  28. ^ Delcourt, Maxime (July 20, 2023). "DE BLACK FLAG AUX BEASTIE BOYS, ILS DISENT TOUS MERCI AUX PHOTOS DE GLEN E. FRIEDMAN". Canal+. Retrieved July 31, 2023.
  29. ^ "Glen e. Friedman | Tony Alva, Trespassing in Beverly Hills".
  30. ^ "Newly Acquired Glen e. Friedman Photographs Capture the Searing Energy of the Nascent Hardcore and Skateboarding Scenes | BAMPFA".
  31. ^ The Smithsonian does not list all collections on-line, but the curator Shannon Perich was reached for confirmation.
  32. ^ a b c "Bio | Glen e. Friedman".
  33. ^ "Search Results for glen e. Friedman".
  34. ^ "Glen e. Friedman selected works 1: Ten photographs". 2013. OCLC 894118097.
  35. ^ Glen e. Friedman selected works 1: Ten photographs. 2013.
  36. ^ "Wallach Prints and Photos Search Results".
  37. ^[dead link]
  38. ^[bare URL PDF]
  39. ^ "Search Results | Cornell University Library Catalog".

External links[edit]