Visual artist Rico Gatson was born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1966, but grew up in Riverside, California. He attended Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art, and Yale University, where he received a Masters degree in Fine Art. He lives and works in Brooklyn.
Mr. Gatson’s work aggressively generates cultural memory through the exploration of conceptual symbolism culled from the popular collective to create theories that deal with identity and racial intolerance in mass culture. Working in painting, sculpture, and video, Mr. Gatson employs the tropes of repetition, accumulation, and wit to shape his social commentary. Through the appropriation and compression of multi-layered symbols, Mr. Gatson untangles the power of these symbols and illustrates how they function in various public spheres. Mr. Gatson’s work has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Exit Art, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center.