In all of Friedberg's paintings, the idea of biography as myth is effected at the structural level by an inscription of the self - memory and experience - in language; that is to say, the immersion of the self in a network of signs. In High Chair, the artist/mother is seated on a ledge above the fragile object of her contemplation, in a state of solitary introspection. The red rectangular field in which the figure is suspended, surrounded by a luminous pink aureole, suggests a protective enclosure (a symbolic womb or house). This is the artist's Valentine to her grown children, but semiologically it may be read as the working of memory into form in order to possess and know it better. In Butterfly, the artist explores the idea of a metamorphosis of the self, as the phantom figure embarks on its journey through a dense black field that is pierced by two lines of brilliant white light. The red areas signify both the pillow on which the figure rests its head - a sign for a physical, corporeal presence - and the wings of the butterfly, as we follow the metamorphosis of the body to a new incarnation.
Friedberg's use of the encaustic medium holds her signs to the surface; her inscriptions are fused with the ground of the picture. The medium also carries visceral associations. Encaustic is an ancient technique in which powdered pigments are suspended in a wax medium, establishing a translucent, skin-like surface.