Mark Bradford is on 60 Minutes this Sunday
"I'm creating my own archaeological digs," he tells Anderson Cooper. "Sometimes when I'm digging on my own painting I'm asking myself, 'Well, exactly what are you digging for? Where do you want to go child?'"
When an artist you admire is interviewed by someone who's truly invested in them you know they'll ask all the right questions. So we have high hopes for this Sunday's 60 Minutes which will air a profile piece on our Contemporary Artist Series artist Mark Bradford, including an interview by Anderson Cooper. Cooper has long been a fan of the LA artist and even owns one of Bradford's paintings.
If you've seen our Contemporary Artist Series book you'll know that Bradford often begins a work with an image representing a moment in history, then adds layers of paper fabricated in ways only he can imagine – layers he considers history that he may then dig into by gouging, ripping or power washing it in his own unique revision.
He tells Anderson Cooper in the show, which airs Sunday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT on CBS that it's his "way of digging into history or into himself."
The process of creating his art and its relationship to history is like archeology he tells Cooper. "I'm creating my own archaeological… digs. Sometimes when I'm digging on my own painting I'm asking myself, 'Well, exactly what are you digging for? Where do you want to go child?' The effect for Bradford and the effect he hopes audiences feel, too, is revision; he's making his mark on history. "I don't really believe history's ever fully accurate," he tells Cooper in the show.
Bradford, a tall, black, gay artist, born into modest circumstances in Los Angeles in 1961, is a self-described liberal and progressive thinker. He visited the White House during the Obama administration yet now, as he told the New York Times recently, no longer feels represented by his government.
In 2017, he installed a critical series of works into the Palladian-style US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. “I wanted it to feel like a ruin, like we went into a governmental building and started shaking the rotunda and the plaster started falling off,” he told the Times. “Our rage made the plaster fall off the walls.”
But the show, entitled Tomorrow Is Another Day, was no simple work of agitprop; and in fact there was plenty of delicate artistry, humanity, and classical reference points in there too.
We suspect you'll like what you see and hear on 60 Minutes. If you do you can buy the book here.