“The title of my artist’s book, WE TOO, refers to our commonality as humans—the things we share communally and personally—our shared complicity in the events of the future—our circumstantial destinies as individuals—our responsibilities as a species on our planet. WE TOO is an experimental narrative without a storyline as such but with associations that hopefully impress upon the reader/viewer a residual meaning they can take into their own lives. We view the world through our personal filters and WE TOO started as my personal story based on some of the accidental events of my life.
Among other things, WE TOO contains a sentimental homage to my father using some of his photos in a postmortem collaboration—and an expression of love for a friend—floating along in various page-to-page sequences, interventions, ruptures, recapitulations, and associations that hopefully convey some of my views about the world and the bookness of the book.
References to history ranging from past geologic time measured in the millions of years to current events occur throughout the book. Without overtly revealing my purpose, the images and text are meant to present the importance of understanding our past as a species and as individuals in order to attempt to avoid the mistakes of the past and the looming self-inflicted environmental disaster.
At the same time, WE TOO as a printed book is my attempt to make a beautiful object that reflects our ongoing quest for happiness and fulfillment. This may seem paradoxical, but aren’t we?”
A rare treasure, this work is proof of master offset printer Brad Freeman’s ability to let his personal notions go through a highly technical process to evolve into a densely beautiful whole that touches the universal, to achieve this Freeman employs his offset press like a virtuoso; “Like my mentor Joe Ruther I use the offset press as a painter uses a brush-this last phrases from Eugene Feldman who was an artist also using the offset press this way.”
Tucked among the pages of this work — which feature dazzling collaged scenes and texts — is a smaller book titled ‘Korea-Japan-1963’ (sewn into the middle, 23 x 14 cm, 24 not numbered pages) that features photographs by Freeman’s veteran father. The book concludes with a colophon and a booklet titled ‘History Of The World War’ in a transparent envelope glued onto the inside of the back cover.
Hard cover, 30 x 23 cm, 78 not numbered pages, edition numbered/56, signed, Chicago 2021