Lot 3
  • 3

Mark Bradford

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Mark Bradford
  • Starin' Through My Rear View
  • signed, titled and dated 2006 on the reverse
  • acrylic, paper collage and wax resin on canvas
  • 44  3/4  x 63 inches


Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Catalogue Note

Mark Bradford’s Starin’ Through My Rear View from 2006 epitomizes the artist’s urban aesthetic, influences and process. Bradford accumulates scraps of billboard posters, advertisements, and bits of debris from the neighborhood surrounding his studio in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, an epicenter of African American arts and culture. Deeply influenced by his upbringing in this region, Bradford’s works often allude to stereotypes and his own experiences of the dynamics of race, class and gender in Leimert Park and more broadly across the United States. 

The title of the work, Starin’ Through My Rear View references a rap song by the same name, written and recorded by legendary 90s rapper Tupac Shakur for the soundtrack of the 1997 film, Gang Related.  The lyrics of the song describe someone who is leaving the past behind and beginning to regard the world from a different point of view. The very nature of Bradford’s socially conscious analysis of his environment and rejection of convention echo the dialogue between the rapper and the world he is scrutinizing in the song. Perhaps we can liken Tupac’s lyrics to Bradford’s intention with this work: to convey the spirit of his hometown through its physical scraps and remnants, yet also express his desire to move past his roots.

Eliminating the use of preparatory studies or sketches in his process, Bradford remarks, “I just keep moving” (Bradford in Christopher Bedford, Mark Bradford, 2010, p. 22). In the present work, he builds up the canvas by collaging fragments of found materials with paper, wax resin and acrylic paint. Subsequently, the texture of the canvas is thick, uneven, layered and interwoven, mirroring the complexities and diversity of Bradford’s environment. The dynamic surface covered with disparate objects from his neighborhood redefines the idea of pure abstract painting and locates it in the very urban life and his own personal experience.