Tom Friedman was born in 1965 in Saint-Louis, Missouri, United States. He studied design in his native city and at Washington University and then sculpture at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Friedman works mainly with sculpture, installation and works on paper. His sculptural works from the 1990s are characterised by their use of everyday objects (spaghetti, toothpicks, pencils), assembled together into abstract compositions or into unrecognisable forms, as in the case of the self portrait made of sugar cubes. In a very distinctive variation on the collage, Friedman assembles numerous examples of the same object to form another identical one, but on a larger scale, which has the effect of hypnotic distortion. Through a minute process of desconstruction and reconstruction, he creates new forms and unusual scenarios, leading the viewer to question the identity of the objects and their meaning.