Lot 111: Alan Friedman

Return of the Sun
Archival inkjet print
19 x 19 inches
Signed verso ink
Courtesy of the artist
Fair Market Value

Alan Friedman is an artist and astrophotographer who records our neighborhood stars from his backyard in Buffalo, NY. His photographs are featured frequently on NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day. His TED talk discussing his work as a “Citizen Astronomer” has more than 60,000 views. His 2015 collaborative exhibition with photographer Douglas Levere, Fire and Ice, CEPA Gallery, traveled to the Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, and the Kresge Gallery in New Jersey. His solo exhibition of sun photographs, Into the Light was shown at the Palm Court Gallery, Orange County, CA. Group shows include Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the 2009 International Year of Astronomy, From Earth to the Universe. His work and techniques have been the subject of lectures and articles, interviews on NBC’s Today Show and in Lessons From the Masters, a survey of advanced techniques in astronomical imaging. His work is represented by Photo-Eye Gallery. Friedman is president and CEO of Great Arrow Graphics, a Buffalo, NY greeting card publisher. He is the director of the Buffalo Astronomical Association.

The piece included in the auction was recorded during the total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017. If we could look at our sun, we would see a brilliant circle of fire. When we add filters and magnification, we can study its face. My photographs comprise a diary—portraits of a moment in the life of our solar neighbor. All are captured using a small telescope and narrow band filters. With these tools, I capture details in high resolution, recording activity and changes in the solar atmosphere. The raw material is black and white and often blurry. I transform the data into pictures, applying color to add context—tonality is adjusted and sharpened to better render the features. It is photojournalism of a sort. The elements of the story are real, not painted.

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