PVD is the airport code for Rhode Island’s airport and is often used as a diminutive for the capital city, Providence. Leslie Friedman’s alter-ego, LesliePVD, embodies three of the values that permeate the rich printmaking culture of Providence, Rhode Island: the appreciation of industrial craft, the belief in DIY/punk ethos, and the acknowledgment of the political and social historical significance of prints in promoting civil liberties. While she does not live in Providence, it is still her hometown.
The moniker LesliePVD was chosen back in the day when AOL instant messenger and fun, catchy email addresses were all the rage (the late ’90s). When she started making screen-prints, it seemed logical that she should use her screen-name. In the rock poster world, most printmakers go by some kind of handle, so the name was reinforced. LesliePVD came out at night, wheatpasting her charms around Providence, and sneaking away before getting noticed. Over the years, three different iterations of her a “chop” were developed: a circle logo, a black cat, and finally an owl. The owl still appears in some of her editions.
So is LesliePVD dead and gone now that Leslie lives in the PHL? No. Did she fall by the wayside as Leslie’s interest turned from posters to fine art? Not one bit. She is always at the heart, the foundation, and the spirit of everything Leslie Friedman does (but she generally only comes out night when she needs to be a little sneaky).