Mark Bradford

Photo (detail): Frederik Nilsen

Mark Bradford

Born in 1961 in Los Angeles, California Currently lives in Los Angeles, California As a young boy, Mark Bradford created signs for his mother's Los Angeles beauty shop. At the time, he did not have aspirations of becoming an artist. Yet the process of making things — and an acute awareness of signage — provided the foundation for a long and successful career as an artist, for which he was named a MacArthur "genius" Fellow in 2009. Bradford's art takes the form of installations, video, public art, and collage, and often incorporates found objects, such as signage from his neighborhood, into massive, mixed-media abstractions laden with texture. His mixed-media work is born out of a time-intensive process of painting and sanding, layering materials, and then chipping them away. He takes his inspiration from the stuff of everyday life that surrounds him in South Central Los Angeles. But he is as much inspired by modernist abstract art and issues of immigration, race, and civil rights as he is by signs, basketball, parades, and maps.