Contact Sheet 188: Todd Gray
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Light Work (September 2016)
For his exhibition A Place That Looks Like Home, artist Todd Gray re-frames and re-contextualizes images from his personal archive that spans over forty years of his career as a photographer, sculptor and performance artist. Gray describes himself as an artist and activist who primarily focuses on issues of race, class, gender and colonialism.
His unique process of combining and layering a variety of images and fragments of images allows him the opportunity to create his own history and “my own position in the diaspora.” Working with photographs of pop culture, documentary photographs of Ghana (where he keeps a studio), portraits of Michael Jackson, gang members from South Los Angeles and photo documentation from the Hubble telescope, Gray asserts what he refers to as his own polymorphous identity that defies definition. Inspired by the work of cultural theorist Stuart Hall, Gray invites the viewer to participate in an “ever-unfinished conversation about identity and history.”
This catalogue includes an essay by Light Work’s associate director Mary Lee Hodgens.
Todd Gray lives and works in Los Angeles and Ghana. He received both his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He is Professor Emeritus, School of Art, California State University, Long Beach. Gray works in multiple mediums including photo-based work, sculpture and performance. Past solo and group exhibitions include: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Luckman Gallery, Cal State University, Los Angeles; California African American Museum, Los Angeles; Tucson Museum of Art; Detroit Museum of Art; Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, among others. Performance works have been presented at The Roy & Edna Disney Cal/Arts Theater; (REDCAT), Los Angeles; Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, and the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles. His work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the University of Connecticut and the Studio Museum, Harlem, NY. Gray is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Resident Fellow. He is represented by Meliksetian | Briggs Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Gray participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in July 2007.