I attended the Mark Bradford exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art while I was in Texas for the holiday. I was excited to see his large collages as the layering, detail and depth of his work is not justify translated into photographs. Much of the work in this show was post- hurricane Katrina and directly responded to the controversy and issues surrounding the catastrophic situation. I really enjoyed his giant billboard sized collages that deal with issues surrounding geography, identity, gender, race, sexuality, process and underground culture. The ark, Mithra, was originally placed in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans for 100 days in the year 2006, when the city was still in a serious rebuilding phase. Mithra was a demigod worshipped by the Romans and symbolized for him both anxiety and rebirth. It is made up of found plywood panels taken from construction sites, with their original faded posters left on the outside. ( I definitely found a old movie poster with Snoop dogg and Will Ferrell on one side, which I particularly found amusing..) I would have loved to have seen the entire ark but even just half demonstrated its monumental impact. I thought the way that long thin window offered a rather spiritual light to the sculpture, was interesting in itself.
here’s a great article on the ark with more clear pictures.
Mark Bradford, Mithra 2005
check out this truly great artist talk and discussion hosted by the Walker Art Center to learn more about Mark Bradford.
the way to get caught is to look like an artist- Mark Bradford