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stephenfriedman.com

Investments

4

About Stephen Friedman

Stephen Friedman is an angel investor and serves as an advisor or on the advisory board of numerous financial organizations including Crestview Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Stone Point Capital and Trident Funds. Friedman graduated from Columbia Law School and also has a BA from Cornell University.

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Latest Stephen Friedman News

‘The story enraged me’ – US artist Deborah Roberts on her Child Q collage

Jun 7, 2022

She used to work in a shoe-shop but her work now sells for huge sums and is collected by big museums and Beyoncé. The African American explains why she tackled the shocking strip-search of a 15-year-old girl in a London school ‘It was a way to break her’ … The Body Remembers, Roberts’ response to the Child Q case. Photograph: Paul Bardagjy/Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London ‘It was a way to break her’ … The Body Remembers, Roberts’ response to the Child Q case. Photograph: Paul Bardagjy/Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Tue 7 Jun 2022 09.47 EDT Deborah Roberts seemed to explode on to the art scene only recently with her poignant collages of black life, but the 60-year-old African American has been working assiduously as an artist for three decades. Until a few years ago, she supplemented her income working in a shoe-shop. “I can show you six ways to tie your laces,” she says. Now her work commands tens of thousands of dollars and she counts museums, galleries and art buyers such as Beyoncé among her collectors. As in previous exhibitions, I Have Something to Tell You , her latest show at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, focuses on black children, their early sexualisation and criminalisation. Given the seriousness of her art, it’s surprising to meet a smiling (behind her Covid mask) Roberts as her 12 new works are installed. Despite the decades-long wait for financial reward, the graceful artist gives the impression of being built for success. Many of the large canvases are mixed-media portraits of black bodies, boys and girls. The centrepiece, The Body Remembers, is a searing response to the strip-search by the Metropolitan police of Child Q , the 15-year-old girl at an east London school who was falsely accused of possessing marijuana. ‘I didn’t see people of colour in Norman Rockwell’s paintings of America’ …Deborah Roberts. Photograph: Moyo Oyelola. Courtesy Deborah Roberts and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. I ask Roberts about her journey from full-time painter to revered collagist. Norman Rockwell’s tender portraits of everyday life in the US were an early inspiration, she says. “I knew he was painting about experiences I was having as a child, but I didn’t see people of colour in them.” Apart from the famous civil rights painting, The Problem We All Live With, she says, “there were only one or two with African American children”. She decided to paint her own versions of everyday life: “I wanted everyone to have the kind of childhood that Norman Rockwell pictured.” As a painter, she had a steady number of commercial clients but, by the early 2000s, a change came over her work. A journal commissioned a jazz piece, she says, “but when I began painting, the body fractured, the imagery, the lights, everything. The end result wasn’t this sultry singer on stage – the body no longer looked human.” I cut up faces and when they landed, I thought: 'Oh my god, that's it!' From then on, Roberts began experimenting, layering her canvases with paint and collage. “My first collage was an accident. I was cutting up faces to lay them out and they landed on each other and I thought: ‘Oh my God, that’s it!’ It allowed me to talk about blackness in a way that wasn’t talked about before.” Her mission to humanise black girls in art peaked when she heard about Child Q. “That story enraged me,” says Roberts. “That experience will change her life. We try so hard to fight for our beauty.” She shakes her head. “To take a child and to strip her of dignity and humanity. It touched me because generational trauma is passed on in black people. That trauma is in her now. That’s why the piece is called The Body Remembers.” The work, inspired by the Child Q case, shows an unidentifiable young girl, with a collage of anonymous faces, who is not yet stripped of her clothing, but bending over as if she’s about to be internally examined. “It’s the worse thing that could possibly happen to you besides rape,” she says. “To me, based on our history of enslavement, it was a way to break her, the way enslaved people were broken by overseers. That’s why I put multiple anonymous faces on the work, because the trauma she experienced is not new.” ‘You have rendered me meaningless’ … Roberts’s Yo Picasso. Photograph: Colin Boyle/Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Roberts sees the work as a tool towards enlightenment: “The girl’s wearing red leggings because she was on her period. I put the cherries on her blouse to reflect lost innocence. The stripes on her sleeves suggest a prison uniform, because black people carry that false notion of criminality wherever we go.” Roberts reflects on the collage of faces: “There’s the profile looking down from humiliation and shame. There’s another face where she looks directlyat you, like – how can you be doing this to me? The police treated Child Q as if she was subhuman. They didn’t see themselves or their daughters in her.” This notion of black invisibility runs throughout the exhibition, depicting black children with contorted bodies almost as phantoms on black canvases. “It’s the idea of being absent and present simultaneously,” says Roberts. “I put chalk around the bodies, like when someone’s murdered. I make the face really clear but fade the rest of the body, as if they’re disappearing right before our eyes and no one cares.”

Stephen Friedman Investments

4 Investments

Stephen Friedman has made 4 investments. Their latest investment was in Academy Securities as part of their Series A on November 11, 2014.

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Stephen Friedman Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

11/3/2014

Series A

Academy Securities

$1.35M

Yes

2

12/2/2009

Series D - II

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$99M

Subscribe to see more

10

12/8/2008

Series D

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$99M

Subscribe to see more

0

8/17/2007

Series C

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$99M

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0

Date

11/3/2014

12/2/2009

12/8/2008

8/17/2007

Round

Series A

Series D - II

Series D

Series C

Company

Academy Securities

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Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Amount

$1.35M

$99M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

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Co-Investors

Sources

2

10

0

0

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