Los Angeles artist Sandow Birk is a graduate of the Otis/Parson’s Art Institute whose work deals with contemporary life. Frequently developed as expansive, multi-media projects, past themes have included inner city violence, graffiti, social and political issues, travel, prisons, Islam, surfing, and skateboarding. He was a recipient of an NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City in 1995, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Rio de Janeiro for 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting, followed by a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship in 2001. One of his projects involved the rewriting and illustrating of the entire “Divine Comedy” into contemporary American English. A feature film of the project, “Dante’s Inferno”, was released in 2007. He has was awarded an Artist Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 2007, and he was an Artist in Residence at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2008, and at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland in 2011. In 2014 he was named as a United States Artist Knight Fellow. His recently published mega-project “American Qur’an, is an illuminated manuscript of the entire Koran in English, in consideration of its relevance to contemporary life in America. His most recent works, “Imaginary Monuments” consider important documents in world history.
Sandow is represented by the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, and Track 16 Gallery in Los Angeles, and by Koplin del Rio Gallery in Seattle.