||Raised on the beaches of California and currently living and working in Los Angeles, Sandow Birk is well traveled and a graduate of the Otis/Parson's Art Institute. His work has dealt with contemporary life in it's entirety. With an emphasis on social issues, frequent themes of his past work have included inner city violence, graffiti, various political issues, travel, prisons, surfing, and skateboarding. His work has been shown extensively throughout the U.S. He was a recipient of an NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City in 1995, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, and a Fulbright Fellow to Rio de Janeiro for 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting, followed by a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship in 2001.|
Sandow is represented by the Koplin Gallery in Los Angeles, Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, and P.P.O.W. Gallery in New York City. Sandow's epic, pseudo-historical series of the "In Smog and Thunder” – in which Los Angeles and San Francisco wage all out war for control of the Golden State – was the most attended exhibition in the history of the Laguna Art Museum in 2000 before traveling to other venues. He has collaborated to make “In Smog and Thunder”, a 45 minute video “mockumentary” about the war which was featured at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2003, among many others. His series of idyllic landscape paintings of prisons was exhibited at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum in 2001 and in New York in 2002.
Two books on his work, In Smog and Thunder and Incarcerated: Visions of California in the 21st Century are currently in publication, and his latest project, a rewriting and illustrating of Dante’s Divine Comedy set in contemporary urban America, will exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art in 2005. Chronicle Books will be publishing a trade version of all three books, Dante’s Inferno, Dante’s Purgatorio, and Dante’s Paradiso.
View Sandow Birk’s Resume