Chris Burden (1946-2015) was a prolific artist, known for his radical performance work of the 1970s and later monumental sculpture, installations and technical models. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, and later lived and worked in Topanga, California. He graduated from the MFA programme at the University of California, Irvine (1971).
Burden persistently tested his mental and physical limitations, reflecting on the surreal and precarious realities of contemporary life. He had a fierce political consciousness, responding to the violence of the Vietnam War by shutting himself in a locker and the same year filmed ‘Shoot’, footage of being shot in the arm by a friend. In his sculptural work, he considered how the scale and placement of public infrastructure could be manipulated to explore the implications of power, speed, and balance. His work challenges viewers to contemplate morality and widen their understanding of how art can serve humanity.