Mark BRADFORD

At Media City Seoul 2010

Kingdom Day (2010)

painting, 12.2 x 3 m

Seoul Museum of Art, Gallery 3-G

Artist Profile

Born 1961; Lives and works in Los Angeles

Mark Bradford’s mixed media work is characterized by its incorporation of found objects—specifically, paper—to create visually complex abstractions that respond to the impromptu networks that emerge within a city.  Using the array of discarded paper materials from his Los Angeles neighborhood such as merchant posters and billboard images, his practice synthesizes the mundane in exquisitely crafted collages that blur the distinctions between high art and urban culture.

The recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Award in 2009, Bradford continues to develop and cultivate a visual vernacular that uses detritus to manipulate notions of community and the issues of race and class stratification that arise in the contemporary urban environment. The artist’s new work Kingdom Day connects with these issues more pointedly, using as its base a billboard image of the Kingdom Day Parade, an annual event held in Los Angeles to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The parade and celebration, which coincides with the US Federal Holiday named for the civil rights activist, are held in and around Bradford’s neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles—a mixed community of Black, Latino and Asian residents. This new work indelibly links King’s ideology of equality to the artist’s inquiry into the meaning and substance he extracts from the lived experience of everyday people.

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