San Diego Art Guide

Sexy Cash by Mark Bradford


Sexy Cash mural by Mark Bradford (photo credit Roy Porello)

Murals of La Jolla Monthly Walking Tour

Next Tour: Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library is delighted to announce Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum has installed Sexy Cash by Mark Bradford at 7540 Fay Avenue. This new mural image was installed Monday, March 9 and will be included on the next Murals of La Jolla monthly tour, Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Mark Bradford’s mural, Sexy Cash, plays with form and content on a grand scale to create a boldly arresting abstraction. At the time of the housing market crash, signs with the words Sexy Cash were placed on telephone poles as part of an informal advertising campaign offering to buy up real estate. Bradford re-appropriated these signs into an artistic statement by adjusting the size and breaking down the formal qualities of the poster to create an almost imperceptible ambiguity. The fragmentary nature of this billboard-size work suggests a lighthearted but also poignant critique on the spectacle of advertising.

Bradford, known for his abstract painting, often uses an additive and subtractive process of collage and décollage simultaneous with the use of paint to create large-scale abstract works. His work embodies a tactile and layered aesthetic that creates an almost transformative quality. He also incorporates video, print, and sculpture into the context of his wider art practice.

Bradford was born and raised in South Los Angeles. At the age of 30, he began attending California Institute of the Arts where he received his Bachelor of Fine Art in 1995 and his Master of Fine Art in 1997. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Sexy Cash (47′ 3″ wide x 13′ 9″ high) will replace Gajin Fujita’s Tail Whip which has been displayed since 2013, and joins thirteen other murals currently installed throughout La Jolla.

To date, works by Kelsey Brookes, John Baldessari, Gajin Fujita, Anya Gallaccio, Robert Ginder, Ann Hamilton, Jean Lowe, Robert Irwin/Philipp Scholz Rittermann, Nina Katchadourian, Kim MacConnel, Ryan McGinness, Roy McMakin, Richard Allen Morris, Catherine Opie, Julian Opie, Fred Tomaselli and William Wegman have been installed throughout La Jolla. Three of these have been replaced or temporarily removed. Overall, 18 murals have been commissioned since 2010.

Murals of La Jolla offers tours the last Wednesday of the month starting at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. RSVPs are suggested.

Murals of La Jolla was founded by the La Jolla Community Foundation and is now a project of the Athenaeum. The goal of the mural project is to enhance the civic character of the community by commissioning public art projects on private property throughout La Jolla. Murals of La Jolla Art Advisory Committee is composed of the heads of the major visual arts organizations who commission artists to propose the intervention of an image on specific walls on privately owned buildings. The first two artworks by Roy McMakin and Kim MacConnel were painted directly on their sites. Subsequent artworks have been printed on vinyl and installed on billboard-like structures. Each work is on view for a minimum of two years and has been generously funded by private donations.

Murals of La Jolla, a project of the Athenaeum demonstrates that commissioning artists to create works for public spaces brings energy and vitality to a community.
Murals of La Jolla committee members include: Matt Browar, committee chair, art collector, and CEO of Browar Management Corporation; Mary Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection at the University of California, San Diego; Hugh M. Davies, the David C. Copley director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Lynda Forsha, project curator and principal of Art Advisory Services; Kathryn Kanjo, chief curator, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Patsy Marino, community leader and art collector; Erika Torri, Joan & Irwin Jacobs Executive Director of La Jolla Athenaeum and Mark Quint, owner of Quint Contemporary Art.

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, located in the heart of La Jolla, in San Diego County, is one of only 16 nonprofit membership libraries in the United States. This rare cultural institution offers a depth and accessibility of resources and programs found nowhere else in the region including one of the most significant collections of artists’ books in Southern California. The Athenaeum also presents a year-round schedule of art exhibitions, concerts (classical, jazz, acoustic and new music), lectures, studio art classes through its School of the Arts, tours and special events.

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