30 Americans: Nick Cave

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25 Days to 30 Americans (born 1959) While Nick Cave was finishing up his graduate degree at Kansas City Art Institute, he was also studying dance through an Alvin Ailey program in both Kansas City and in New York. Today, the performance artist, fabric sculptor, and dancer is best known for his elaborate, transformative “soundsuits.” When worn, these otherworldly garments give the wearer shaman-like characteristics, as they completely overwhelm conventional human physiology. Cave constructs these works ... Read More

30 Americans: Iona Rozeal Brown

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Iona Rozeal Brown
26 Days to 30 Americans (born 1966) Iona Rozeal Brown often takes cues from her explorations as a DJ when juxtaposing elements of Japan’s ganguro culture and black American hip-hop and fashion. In such acclaimed works as Untitled I (Female) (2003), King Kata #3: Peel Out (After Yoshitoshi’s Incomparable Warriors: Women Han Gaku) (2009), and A Children’s Story (2009), she also draws upon Japanese Ukiyo-E woodblock prints and paintings. Learn more about the 30 Americans exhibition at http://arkansasartscenter.org/30-Americans. photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York ... Read More

30 Americans: Mark Bradford

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Mark Bradford
27 Days to 30 Americans (born 1961) While growing up in Los Angeles, Mark Bradford used to make signs for his mother’s hair salon. In fact, at one time, he worked as a hairdresser in that salon. As he explained in an episode of PBS’s Art21, that upbringing instilled a joy and understanding with working with his hands and the art of making. “My art practice goes back to my childhood, but it’s not an art background. ... Read More

30 Americans: Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Jean-Michel Basquiat 
28 Days to 30 Americans (1960-1988) Born in Brooklyn, Jean-Michel Basquiat began his career in art in the late 1970s as a teenage graffiti artist. Though his roots were in graffiti, Basquiat became a well-known Neo-Expressionist in the mid-1980s, famous for his creative use of everything from windowsills to football helmets. He received national recognition for his unique, aggressive, and vibrant style. In 1985 he appeared on the cover of the New York Times and was featured in ... Read More

30 Americans: John Bankston

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29 Days to 30 Americans (born 1963) The visual and narrative language of coloring books fuels much of the fantastical sensibilities of John Bankston’s oil, acrylic, ceramic, watercolor, and sculpture works. Curator Daniell Cornell, who organized Bankston’s 2006 exhibition Locating Desire at the de Young Museum, San Francisco, expressed how Bankston juggles the art of painting and drawing, representation and abstraction, to transport viewers in a world of childlike reveries. The adventure voyages, science fiction, and fairy tales ... Read More

30 Americans: Nina Chanel Abney

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30 Days to 30 Americans(born 1982) In the November 2008 issue of W Magazine, a twenty-six-year-old Nina Chanel Abney explained to Haven Thompson how celebrity scandals inspire some of her vibrant, often brazen paintings that at once suggest Francis Bacon, David Hockney, and contemporary street murals. “I’m fascinated by how celebrity news has become not more interesting, but more important than politics. I like to infuse that with race issues,” Abney said, referring to her ... Read More