Mike Bidlo (American, b. 1953)
Mike Bidlo is well known for his appropriation and replication of paintings and sculptures by 20th century masters such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, Giorgio de Chirico, Man Ray, Constantin Brancusi, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Georgia O’Keeffe and others. He has also restaged the renowned performances of Yves Klein’s Anthropometries, Andy Warhol's Factory and Bidlo’s earliest performance, Jack the Dripper at Peg’s Place (1982) during which he painted replicas of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings and re-enacted Pollock’s infamous act of urinating into Peggy Guggenheim’s fireplace. Bidlo’s “homages” challenge the art market’s authenticating role and question the modernist canon by validating Appropriation as a unique form of art making. Bidlo is a staunch aficionado of twentieth-century modern art and his incredibly accurate recreations of masterpieces in various mediums as an exploration into the concepts of originality and creativity are done with a strong sense of research, appreciation and devotion. He is a key member of the generation of artists, including Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince, John Armleder, Barbara Kruger and others who emerged in the 1980s and practiced appropriating subjects and images from popular culture and art history into their own art.
Bidlo has said of his artistic activity: “My work is perhaps an extreme example of this strain of art which references other art because it directly mirrors the image, scale, and materials of the original. Whatever differences appear in my work are a consequence of my working method and not an attempt at projecting a personal style.”
Mike Bidlo was born in Chicago and studied at the University of Illinois, Chicago (BA, 1973), Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (MFA, 1975) and Columbia University, New York (MFA, 1978). Bildo lives and works in New York City and among the institutions that have exhibited his work are: the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; New Museum, New York; P.S.1/MoMA, Queens, New York; Sezon Museum, Tokyo; Saatchi Collection, London; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo; the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris and the Fondation Cartier, Paris. The artist is represented by the Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich and has also shown his work with the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York; the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York; Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris; the Larry Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles; Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, New York; the Hal Bromm Gallery, New York; the Paolo Curti/Annamaria Gambuzzi & Co. Gallery, Milan and others.