Andy Friedman | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Andy Friedman

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While attending the Rhode Island School of Design, Brooklyn-based "slide-show poet" Andy Friedman once spent three years on the same painting, only to accidentally ruin it with the final coat of varnish. Not the kind of pain usually sung about by the classic bluesmen he emulates, but it's surely given him some appreciation for the fleeting nature of human achievement. Friedman has built a following, mostly in bars and music clubs rather than galleries, through his idiosyncratic hybrid performances: he uses a slide projector to flash images of his Polaroids and pen-and-ink drawings (not as easy to ruin as oil paintings) while delivering spoken-word riffs derived from classic blues numbers--sometimes to musical accompaniment, sometimes a cappella--and his own discursive ruminations on love and travel. In his latest show, Future Blues, he pays tribute to French photographer Robert Doisneau's iconic 1950 image of a couple kissing. "I think we'd all want to be kissed at a train station," Friedman says, "as long as it's arriving and not leaving, which I fear is too often the case." a Thu 9/30, 8 PM, Open End, 2000 W. Fulton, 312-738-2140, "donation requested."

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