Lucas Artists Fellow

  • RESIDENCY DATES : Dec 1st 2010 to Feb 27th 2011 | May 10th 2015 to May 31st 2015 | Nov 18th 2016 to Nov 23rd 2016
  • FROM : USA
  • INSTAGRAM : @sandowbirk

Sandow Birk was born in 1962 in Detroit, Michigan and raised on the beaches of Orange County, California.  He is a graduate of the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles, and resides in Southern California.  Subjects of his work include gang violence, graffiti culture, prisons, surfing, skateboarding, Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Iraq war, and the Qur’an. Birk creates monumental series developed over the course of many years, often working across media to support his ideas through a multi-disciplinary approach—painting, drawing, printmaking, writing, film, video, and sculpture.

Birk has exhibited in dozens of museum and galleries, and his work is in many public and museum collections including: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Getty Center in Los Angeles; the New York Historical Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Harvard University Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma, Italy; and Stadtisches Kunstmuseum in Reutlingen, Germany. 

Birk has received an NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Getty Fellowship, and a City of Los Angeles Fellowship. 

Most recently, Birk’s work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including shows at the Andy Warhol Museum in 2011; McKinney Avenue Contemporary and the San Jose Museum of Art in 2012; Arizona State University Library and Millersville University Winter Center Gallery in 2013; and The University of Puget Sound Kittridge Gallery in 2014.  In 2015, W.W. Norton will publish American Qur’an, a book of Birk’s complete series of paintings on this subject, which will coincide with solo exhibitions at Catharine Clark Gallery and the Orange County Museum of Art.

Birk is represented by Catharine Clark Gallery where he has exhibited his work since 1994.  He was in residency at Montalvo Arts Center’s Lucas Artist Program in 2010 at which time he worked on American Qur’an.