Artist Statements

'DON'T GO OUT INTO THE NIGHT, IT'S NOT SAFE'- Feb.2018

The power of the mother is fierce. I’m into this daughter thing a half a century plus and just now dealing with one of my mother’s commands. ‘Don’t go out into the night by yourself, it’s not safe.’

My last birthday I decided I had enough of that command. I had always loved walking from my car to my apt. in the night. I would look up at the sky and the vastness of the dark always made me feel a part of a very special part of the world or maybe another world. I could almost feel my ancestors. The stillness, the stark contrasts between light and shadow. Who goes there? Was it safe?  I would savor my quick dashes from the car but would never linger. 

Lately I'm lingering in the night. As if I'm receiving a message. I have no choice. I stop. I listen Now I shoot in the night. I shoot homes and trees. I shoot shadows. Now I dream. I'm haunted. There's clarity. The trees standing tall. The mother/home always there, always tugging at me. The abuse. The continued abuse to diminish. Don't shine. Don't stand tall. My defiance can only be contained for so many years. I help children stand tall. But who helps me?

My life-coach of twenty years suddenly died. Who would I go to now with my woes of my dysfunctional family? I just have me now. And everything in my gut is telling me to go out into the night.

This project embraces the torment and growth of a soul. Searching for resolution in the night in the neighborhoods of Silver Lake and downtown Los Angeles that calls to me. 

*Unaware of the meaning of all this, the meaning became clear on March 12, 2018. My mother unexpectedly passed from an undiagnosed Uti which turned to sepsis. I believe I was being led by the unnatural world to be able to handle the loss.

Short version: This is part of a series, 'Don't go out into the night: It's not safe", an exploration and resolution of a mother-daughter relationship that deals with rules, conflict, confrontation, fear and finally resolution.

'THE LOST YEARS' – 

I've been working on a series called The Lost Years for the past 6 years which documents the years that most adults cannot remember, before the age of 5. A child-development major, I spent many years as a nanny & I had an intimate access to the times the children are most in their own heads unaware of my presence. Studying the children has made me aware of how fragile my own memories are.

On a personal level, remembering fragments of my life before the age of five is very frustrating. My aunt walking into our Bronx apartment as I was dealing with triangle shaped tomatoes with an egg on my plate is one of my memories from age four. Why did my mother give me tomatoes?! "She knows I don’t like tomatoes!" Was this shape supposed to entice me?

Looking out through the crib bars into my grandmother’s Bronx apartment and seeing where the chair and alcove were. I don’t know how old I was but I was all alone sitting there.

I look at photographs of myself before five and see how happy I was and wish I could remember those times. What I remember is the verbal abuse that started when I was five and turned physical when I was about 10. Does the mind remember sad times more than happy times? Was I posing for the camera with a smile? What was real?
 
'BLIZZARD JONAS' -

A mixed media documentary series of the Blizzard that hit New York City January 2016. The city was basically shut down and people walked freely in streets. This work speaks to the beauty of the calm of isolated space in what could have appeared as chaos. I photographed images off of the CNN coverage on TV zooming past the reporters to make my own story of what I saw.

A little more of the story: Even though I had been out of the business for years, working as one of the first female broadcast engineers in Los Angeles TV news gave me a nose for news.

So when Blizzard Jonas was being broadcast on CNN as the
blizzard of the century, I was naturally hooked by the headline!

Nevermind that I had been an Angeleno for decades - once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker!

So with my Android phone sitting on an orange couch in a sunny Southern California suburb, I shot the news coverage... but with my own take on what was being broadcast.

CNN warned people to stay inside to avoid one of the worst blizzards to hit New York since the late 1800's. But reporters and many pedestrians went about their business as if it were just another day.

Roads were closed and people walked freely. What a testament to the grit and independence of New Yorkers!

As I zoomed past the TV reporters, I cropped away at the image instantly recreating the solitary, almost apocalyptic,
barren landscape that the city seemed to reflect.  In other
cases, people were just plain having fun.

Choosing b&w over the color footage is intentional as this takes me back to the early years of b&w television in the 1960’s when I was a child.

(self-published book available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Blizzard-Jonas-York-City-2016/dp/1367355982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478449667&sr=8-1&keywords=laurie+freitag)


'THE ANGRY ORANGE' -

This series,'The Angry Orange', created while listening to the media report on the antics of the Trump Presidency. As a reaction to the frustration I hear and feel around me, this digital series shows an almost otherworldly reality the U.S. seems to be in. I've created an abstract almost comic-book response to the daily news. Some of the titles are mostly actual comments made by Trump or others in the media.
E.G. Hillary's 'Back Up You Creep'...
All images are light reflections photographed in sinks, kitchen and bathroom. I've altered the perspective through cropping, saturation, temperature and contrast on my Samsung Andoid phone.

'RUINS'


The exploration of our reckoning with age, memory, our inner selves, our shadow selves and the self that continues to grow inside of us.


'STREET'

At heart I'm a street photographer. I document what I see. I don't use Photoshop and don't have the patience to create scenarios. My muse is in the moment using my phone or camera as a butterfly net to capture what I consider important moments of daily life. It sounds cliche but therein lies the best stuff.

SHORT BIO FOR PRESS:
At heart I'm a street photographer. I document what I see. I don't use Photoshop and don't have the patience to create scenarios. My muse is in the moment using my phone or camera as a butterfly net to capture what I consider important moments of daily life. It sounds cliche but therein lies the best stuff.

I've shot most of my life only getting serious the last few years. Latest accomplishments (2017) include exhibiting in the Los Angeles Center of Photography "The Creative Portrait" exhibition :Juror: Ann M. Jastrab,
Honorable Mention in the 12th Annual Spider Awards in the Children of the World category. I was included in the Griffin Museum of Photography’s 23rd Juried Exhibition online exhibition web & digital slideshow/Main Gallery :Juror: Hamidah Glasgow.
I also participated in Lenscratch/online Group Show/Earth Day and have been featured in Your Daily Photograph 4x. 

I'm a member of the Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825 & have exhibited in the following shows, "Open Show": Juror: Jen Inacio, Pérez Art Museum Miami,  "Adorn": Juror: Sarah Russin, Executive Dir., Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), "Aurora": Juror: LAAA Exhibition Committee, Los Angeles, CA, & "Cultural Excavation" :Juror: Elizabeth James, Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, CA.

I also took first place (2013) Women in Photography International,
Juror: Daniel Miller/Duncan Miller Gallery & exhibited in the Robert Berman Gallery/ Lucie Foundation for the "Month of Photography" in Santa Monica, CA.

I'm also the owner/founder of L.A. Photo Curator and N.Y. Photo Curator which offers opportunities for all levels of photographers to have their work seen online in international competitions with reviews by various curators for first place winners. Twenty per cent of all artist fees goes to charity.