Glen E. Friedman

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Glen E. Friedman
Glen E. Friedman by Brett Ratner.jpg
Glen Ellis Friedman[citation needed]

(1962-03-03) March 3, 1962 (age 59)
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] 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 eight of his books as well as in other publications, including record covers,[2][3] and has been exhibited in art galleries and museums.[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]

Publications by Friedman[edit]

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

Films with contributions by Friedman[edit]

Major 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]


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

Quotes about Friedman[edit]

  • "The bottom line is that he was there at the beginning of so much cool stuff in so many different areas it's not funny." – Henry Rollins[38]
  • Friedman says about his work, "For me it's about inspiring people, with integrity and rebelliousness." To which, Keith Hamm of the Los Angeles Times said, "For the past quarter century, Friedman has been doing just that." – Keith Hamm, Los Angeles Times.[39]
  • "The most prolific photographer of his generation." – American Institute of Graphic Arts[40]
  • "The esoteric political and aesthetic conscience of his generation." – Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine[41]
  • "His [cloud] photos achieve what so many others only aspire to—they show the spiritual within the physical." – Adam Beinash, LA Weekly[42]
  • "Outspoken, individual, and the very best at what he does...It's time Friedman was listed alongside Capa, Bresson, and Avedon." - Candy Culture[43]


  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. "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. ^
  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. ^
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  18. ^
  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. ^
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  29. ^ The Smithsonian does not list all collections on-line, but the curator Shannon Perich was reached for confirmation.
  30. ^ a b c
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  38. ^ Fuck You Heroes Quote from book flap written by Henry Rollins
  39. ^ Hamm, Keith (November 21, 2002). "It's All About Attitude". Los Angeles Times.
  40. ^ American Institute of Graphic Arts 2004
  41. ^ Juxtapoz, December 2003.
  42. ^ LA Weekly, April 26, 2006 – Clouds' Illusions by Adam Beinash.
  43. ^ Candy Culture 2006 interview by Aiden Kelly.

External links[edit]