ANDY FRIEDMAN PR RELEASE

NEW YORKER/TOPPS ARTIST AND MUSICIAN ANDY FRIEDMAN EXHIBITS ORIGINAL BASEBALL CARD ART AND MORE AT BLEECKER TRADING CALENDAR OF EVENTS Monday, October 18: Kid’s Night (“Spotlight70” Signing/Art Card Giveaways, 16 and under), 6-8pm. Tuesday, October 19: CRT Sports Card Zoom Interview with Andy Friedman and others, 7-8pm. Wednesday, October 20: “Spotlight70” Autograph Signing, all ages, 5:30pm-6:30pm. Saturday, October 23: Closing Reception (“Spotlight70” Autograph Signing, Catered Finale Party incl. wine/beer, and backyard acoustic concert by Andy Friedman, 21 and over), 7-10pm. Beginning Monday, October 18, and continuing through Sunday, October 24, Bleecker Trading, a boutique collectible assets dealer in the West Village who opened their doors during a collectibles boom triggered by the pandemic, will exhibit over a hundred original baseball themed works in ink and watercolor by Andy Friedman, a visual artist, musician, and writer who recently released “Spotlight70,” a seventy-card set of painted baseball cards with Topps. Many of the original works from the set will be featured in the exhibition and available for sale for the first time. Friedman’s work, in its various forms, has been published by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, GQ, Vanity Fair, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine (where his art has twice graced the cover), and The New Yorker, among others. “Spotlight70,” which features improvisational paintings in ink and watercolor of seventy baseball cards culled from the Topps archive of a diverse range of “fan favorites,” from Gene Tenace and Vida Blue to Lee Mazzilli and Lloyd McClendon, continued Topps’ ongoing series of collaborations with artists from around the globe in celebration of the brand’s seventieth anniversary. Friedman documented his lifelong affinity for drawing baseball cards in “The Loneliness of the Common Player,” an illustrated essay that appeared on The New Yorker web site in 2015. “The cards that I’ve held onto continue to stimulate my emotions in different ways,” he wrote. “Childhood memories live in their ink-black shadows, distant radio towers, blurry treetops, and cerulean skies…I look at these cards the way Cézanne might have looked at Mont Sainte-Victoire from the Bibemus Quarry.” In 2020, Friedman illustrated his online, in-depth interview with his favorite baseball player, Mike Schmidt, the Hall-of-Famer and former Philadelphia Phillies third baseman, also for The New Yorker. Among the works exhibited at Bleecker Trading will be original paintings from the “Spotlight70” collection, “The Loneliness of the Common Player,” “Storybook Season: An Interview with Mike Schmidt,” and an assortment of published baseball illustrations spanning Friedman’s heralded twenty-year career as an editorial caricaturist. Though he illustrates celebrities for magazines, publishes his cartoons in The New Yorker, and tours the country in support of his music, Friedman, a graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design (’97) with a degree in painting, has always considered himself a painter above all. Friedman’s exhibit of ink and watercolor paintings, which are two of the most difficult mediums in existence, represents the first public solo display of his visual art since a 2001 viewing of the pencil drawings from “Drawings & Other Failures,” his debut self-titled chapbook of art and poetry, at The Gotham Book Mart, a former literary landmark in the Diamond District founded in 1920, which closed in 2007. Sold in foil packs of ten for a month at Topps.com, the “Spotlight70” collection was welcomed with fanfare highlighted by a pop-up exhibit and signing at the Topps booth at The National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, an NPR interview, a discussion with Dr. James Beckett (renowned as the inventor of the price guide) on his “Sportscard Insights” podcast, which was divided into two episodes, and a featured profile in the arts section of Alive, the alternative newsweekly for Columbus, Ohio, where Friedman staged a pop-up exhibit and signing at a collectibles shop on his way to the National. Each week, Topps presented three new artist proof cards priced at $69.99 in numbered editions of twenty-five, all of which sold out. In addition to the oeuvre of baseball card art and published illustrations to be exhibited at Bleecker Trading will be the premier of “Faces of ’78,” a groundbreaking, one-of-one, forty-card, double-sided set of original painted baseball cards of less known players from the Topps 1978 set. Executed in ink and watercolor, and displayed in clear, magnetic One-Touch cases, each sealed with a branded seal of authenticity and stored collectively on the wall in unified holder, the set will be offered for sale in its entirely for seventy-two hours at a bulk rate, after which the price of each individual card will increase. Some of the baseball card art in Friedman’s Bleecker Trading exhibit leans toward the conceptual. “Crumpled Cards,” a numbered, one-of-one collection of five decimated baseball cards from the Topps 1981 set, each labeled “Hand-Crumpled By The Artist” and signed in acrylic ink; and “21 Tips for Maximum Engagement In Watercolor,” which presents in cursive acrylic ink on a variety of vintage Topps cards of celebrated players the hard-won mantras that inform Friedman’s reckless but masterful process, attempt to challenge the principle of pristine physical condition as the penultimate standard for determining the value of a card. Friedman and Bleecker Trading will offer three separate signing events, as well as a catered finale party on Saturday, October 23rd that includes wine, beer, and a backyard concert by Friedman alone on acoustic guitar, which will be the artist’s first public musical performance in almost five years. On Tuesday, October 19, Friedman and three other yet-to-be-announced Topps artists will be interviewed on Zoom about the art card movement and collectibles boom by collector Chris Torres on his popular CRT Sports Card podcast, which will be broadcast live. *Must show valid vaccination cards and ID at entry for admission to all events PLEASE CONTACT CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN FOR MORE INFO: christian@bleeckertrading.com For more information about Andy Friedman, visit: www.andyfriedman.net