It’s rare that a profile of an artist can accomplish so much in such a short compass. Here Anderson Cooper and his 60 Minutes producers do a remarkable job of cramming detail from Mark Bradford’s life, career and art practice into a profile that lasts all of 14 minutes.
Cooper’s own story of meeting Bradford and buying one of his end-paper works is worth watching as well. But the value in this report is hearing from Bradford himself:
Bradford’s latest work continues to focus on difficult and controversial issues. This painting, which is prominently displayed in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is called 150 Portrait Tone. And was made in response to the 2016 fatal police shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Minnesota.
Diamond Reynolds in livestream of shooting: He was trying to get out his ID in his wallet out his um, pocket…and he let the officer know…
Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds livestreamed the incident, Bradford was so haunted by her words, he made them into this painting.
Diamond Reynolds in livestream of shooting: “Please don’t tell me this Lord, please Jesus don’t tell me that he’s gone.”
Anderson Cooper: It’s really the conversation that — his girlfriend is having.
Mark Bradford: With multiple people, which I was fascinated by.
Anderson Cooper: Why were you fascinated by it?
Mark Bradford: how composed she was. She was having a conversation with her daughter in the backseat, with Philando, who was passing away, with God, with us, Facebook, and with the policeman, all simultaneously. it was visual, and textual, and heartbreaking, and heroic, and strong all at the same time.