|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|A collage artist based in Los Angeles, Mark Bradford began making
abstract collages in the 1990s by using paper products from his
mother's hair salon in South Central Los Angeles. He combined
hairpins, tissue end papers for permanents and dyes for
"Bradford transforms materials scavenged from the street into
wall-sized collages and installations that respond to the impromptu
networks-underground economies, migrant communities, or popular
appropriate of abandoned public space-that emerge within a city.
. . .Bradford's videos and map-like, multilayered paper collages refer
not only to the organization of streets and buildings in downtown Los
Angeles, but also to images of crowds, ranging from civil rights
demonstrations of the 1960s to contemporary protests concering
immigration issues." (art:21)
Bradford earned a BFA (1995) and an MFA (1997) from the California
Institute of Arts in Valencia, and then in 2001 earned much attention
in the exhibition "Freestyle" of the Studio Museum of Harlem, dedicated
to emerging African-American artists. His entry titled Enter and Exit the New Negro, is a large-scale canvas covered with hundreds of end papers arranged in dozens of rows and colored with hair dye.
more recent pieces, he has incorporated copy paper to suggest
technology and the future and remnants of billboards and posters to
speak of memory and landscape.
Bradford's work is represented in
the 2004-2005 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in
Newport Beach. His entry, Game Recognize Game, is
composed of paper-mache soccer balls in front of a wall-size collage
that has thousands of small pieces of paper arranged to look like an
industrial explosion or perhaps the urban grid of Los Angeles.
In 2008, Mark Bradford, working with New York curator, Dan Cameron,
became part of a movement to re-vitalize art activity in New Orleans,
which had been much curtailed from Hurricane Katrina. Bradford's
project is builing a structure symbolizing an ark that will be placed
at the 1.9 Center for the Arts in the Ninth Ward.
Shana Nys Dambrot, "Dye Another Day", ARTnews, November 2004, p. 141
Carly Berwick, "Encouraging Wards", ARTnews, October 2008, pp. 66-67
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