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Tom Fruin

May 2, 2004 - Meredith Mendelsohn, Art News

"Tom Fruin's meticulously crafted works could be a loving tribute to his materials - liquor and illicit-drug packaging - or a means for condemning them. Either way, what's clear is that even the most abject remnants scraped off the floor of a filthy bar can be transformed into compelling, even esthetically pleasing art."

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Tom Fruin, Mike Weiss Gallery

March 2, 2004 - Gae Savannah, Flash Art

"Utliizing icons of quick-fix culture, Tom Fruin sucks viewers into a backroom of cheap highs and instant bliss. With visual-verbal puns, Fruin's phallic Heiney Girl Bottles divulge latent sex behind the Heineken's pedigreed ribbon and star label."

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Tom Fruin- "Starfucker"

February 18, 2004 - Andrew Paine Bradbury, Free Williamsburg

"Fruin's first major show, at Stefan Stux in 2002, caused quite a stir. The show 'Cultural Narcotics' consisted of several tapestries that resembled quilts that were made from discarded drug bags sewn together. The quilts, quite aesthetically beautiful and abstract from afar, more macabre on closer inspection, were named after the neighborhoods that Fruin found the bags in."

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Rehashing the Grid, Or How to Make An Urban Quilt, featuring Tom Fruin

September 18, 2003 - Ramsey McGlazer, Museo 6

"Tom Fruin builds narratives out of what is 'already there,' unacknowledged, soon forgotten, and—incidentally—free. And he aims to accomplish all of this simply by sewing his newly acquired square bags together, straightforwardly and more or less arbitrarily, in a sort of unanchored appliqué. Sometimes he groups them according to logo or color, sometimes not."

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Artist's Pick: Mark Kostabi on Tom Fruin

April 28, 2002 - Mark Kostabi, Shout

"Technically, Tom Fruin is guilty of possession. Pot, heroin, cocaine - anything that comes in those miniature Ziploc baggies. [...] Some of [his] heroin, pot and cocaine baggies, delicately stitched together to form ironic, translucent quilts, still contain residues of the illegal stuff. So far he hasn't been arrest."

The Faces of New York, featuring Tom Fruin

April 22, 2002 - Yvette Lenhart, Dumbo Newsletter

As a young boy Tom Fruin befriended the local telephone repair man and collected the colorful wires he discarded. Growing up in Manhattan Beach, CA, Fruin enjoyed collecting a wide range of found objects and making figures and shapes out of them. Fruin began working more formally at the University of CA, at Santa Barbara and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual art in 1996. Nevertheless, the major thrust of his work seems to have changed very little. 

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Weekend Update, featuring Tom Fruin

April 18, 2002 - Walter Robinson, Artnet

Fruin, who owns two sewing machines, collects the bags in his Fort Greene neighborhood and stitches them together, sometimes in a kind of map of the housing projects where they are found. 

Finding The Stuff of Art In the Gutter, featuring Tom Fruin

April 14, 2002 - Deborah Bach, The New York Times

"Over the next 18 months, Mr. Fruin, 27, who lives in Brooklyn, collected almost 3,000 drug bags from around the city. They were plastic or glassine, some clear, others solid-colored or patterned, and the ranged from pinkie-nail-size crack bags to credit-card sized marijuana packets. He sewed them together in a quilt that sold for $20,000."

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Tom Fruin, "Cultural Narcotics: The Straight Dope"

April 11, 2002 - Ana Finel Honigman, Time Out New York

"Just as drugs promise sweet distractions, so quilts represent warmth and sleep's luxorious respite from harsh reality. [...] Like an anthropologist, Fruin names his quilts after the housing projects and neighborhoods where he gathers the baggies."

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