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 Mike Bidlo  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/Illinois      Known for: mod recreations, conceptual

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Ad Code: 2
Mike Bidlo
from Auction House Records.
Lavender Mist
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A strong devotee of modern art of the 20th century, Mike Bidlo creates exact replicas with free-hand drawings of work by well-known 20th modernists including Picasso and Matisse. Many of his works are devoid of color.

His replicas of Duchamp's bottle rack --- the original representing an appropriation of a different sort --- are arranged directly on the floor like skeletal crowns or vertical lobster traps.

Bidlo's recreations are intended to irritate the viewer and provoke unease, and many of those who experience that reaction regard their response as a testamony to his strength. One of the irritants is that you are not supposed to copy or imitate other peoples' art. Bidlo, by refusing to be original, is an original.

Although he has done Performances in the past (Jackson Pollock relieving himself in Peggy Guggenheim's fireplace; Andy Warhol's Factory), in the paintings and now sculptures, Bidlo disappears. Thus he now represents, paradoxically, the fullest expression of the anti-expressionist aesthetic of minimalism. The hundreds of drawings of Duchamp's latrine, shown at the Shafrazzi Gallery in New York in 1998, are equally "anonymous." The variety of styles are self-canceling.

In "The Shock of the Nude: Manet's Olympia", which appeared on PBS in 2000, Musée d'Orsay director Henri Loyrette explains that in Manet's time, "If you wanted to become a great painter you had to vie with old masters." For example, Manet based Olympia's composition on The Venus of Urbino, one of the famous masterpieces by the Italian painter Titian. Modern-day New York artist Mike Bidlo bases his artwork on past masterpieces as well. The film follows Bidlo as he recreates his own version of Olympia -- a piece he titles "A More Modern Olympia". Like other vanguard artists, Bidlo seeks to extend the boundaries of art.

Bidlo was born in Chicago and studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago, earning a B.A. degree in 1973. Two years later, he eanred an MFA at Southern Illinois University.

His work can be found in New York at the Fashion Insititute, Chase Manhattan Bank and the Stock Exchange, the Sezon Museum in Tokyo, the Omaha National Bank in Omaha, and the University of Colorado.

He has lived primarily in New York City and is a member of the American Art Therapy Association.

"Who's Who in American Art", 1997-1998

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