If you were one of those kids who would dismantle every toy to see what it was like on the inside, you certainly discovered plenty of cool and interesting things. But have you ever seen what a golf ball looks on the inside? Photographer James Friedman became interested in discovering it, and he captured dozens of golf balls cut in half. Turns out there’s quite a colorful inside in each of the tiny white balls, and James shows it in a gorgeous abstract series of photos he named Interior Design.
Although James’ work is based mainly on portraiture, street and personal documentary photography, at one point he got interested in abstraction. He says it was the moment when he saw a golf ball cut in half at a golf equipment show. At that point, he felt the connection to abstraction for the first time, as he discovered “elegant formal qualities and surprising metaphorical possibilities in the unlikeliest of places, a 1.68” golf ball.” And this is when the birth of the Interior Design project began.
James says it took him 35 years from first viewing abstract works of Minor White, Aaron Siskind and Helen Frankenthaler to feel the connection with this genre. After the discovery at the golf equipment fair, he learned to appreciate abstraction and wanted to incorporate in in his own work. That’s when he began photographing the colorful inside of golf balls.
He began the project by cutting the balls precisely with a saw blade, which would give him a colorful and regular circular shape to photograph. But as he points out, more recently he began sculpting the interior surfaces with cutting and marking tools. He also manipulates the balls into new shapes before he takes the photo. By doing this, he gives more versatility and creates even more interesting and intriguing images. Here is more of James’ work, click on any image to open gallery:
Funnily enough, James doesn’t play golf. But he has definitely found the best way for a photographer to use a golf ball, other than exercise dodging and burning. While he cuts and reshapes the golf balls, I’m sure he feels as a child who discovers the inside of his new toy. And it’s an enriching discovery, bot for him as a photographer and for us as viewers.
About the Artist
James Freidman is an award-winning fine art, portrait, architectural, commercial and personal documentary photographer, but also a teacher, curator and picture editor. He has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in photography, and his work has been exhibited internationally, published in numerous books and discussed in various publications.