Chris Burden (1946 – 2015) was an artist whose work brought him notoriety. He studied and began his career in Los Angeles. His early performance pieces like Trans-fixed, Five Day Locker Piece, and Shoot made audience witness and examine acts of personal danger and social responsibility at a time of war.
Burden’s later work involved intricate installations and structures consisting of many small parts. Pieces like Metropolis II is an intensely engineered kinetic sculpture with 1,100 miniature cars speeding through an elaborate system of roads, freeways, train tracks, and buildings at high speeds. This and a few others can be seen right in our city. Becoming almost iconic to Los Angeles is Urban Light, an installation of over 200 restored cast iron antique street lamps outside of LACMA.
From performance art to sculptures, Burden did not cease to bring attention to the social climate of the time through his work and push the envelope of art. And so…we celebrate the life and work of Chris Burden.
1. Urban Light (2008) 2. Metropolis II (2011) 3. All the Submarines of the United States of America (1987) 4. LAPD Uniforms (1993) 5. Pair of Numar Mortars (2013) 6. What My Dad Gave Me (2008)