Todd Gray (b. 1954, Los Angeles, CA) works in photography, performance and sculpture. Gray’s most recent photo works are comprised of photographs gathered from his own archive and recontextualized via their juxtaposition with one another and the use of antique frames as a structuring device. Gray's work is "fluent in cultural iconography, driven by introspection, and steeped in issues of corporate politics and racial identity" (from Amy M. Mooney, Black Is, Black Ain't curated by Hamza Walker ex. cat. The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 2013.)
Todd Gray received both his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Solo and group exhibitions include the Studio Museum, Harlem, NY: Renaissance Society, University of Chicago; Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; National Portrait Gallery, London; Grand Palais, Paris among others. Performance works have been presented at institutions such as the Roy & Edna Disney Cal/Arts Theater, REDCAT; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. His work is represented in numerous museum collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Gallery of Canada; Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles among others. He was the recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Grant in 2016. Todd Gray’s photo based work explore issues of black masculinity, diaspora, and contemporary/historical examinations of power. In recent installations he revisits this archive, pairing images of Jackson with photographs of Ghana where Gray maintains a studio, exploring the diasporic dislocations and cultural connections which link the US to West Africa. Gray has presented this work in academic conferences at Yale and Harvard University and is a 2018 John S. Guggenheim Fellow.
Gray was selected to be included in the third edition of the Hammer Museum's biennial Made in LA: a, the, though, only, curated by Aram Mosheyedi and Hamza Walker in June 2016 (catalog), where he presented a performance work for the duration of the exhibition, outside the confines of the museum space. In 2017, Gray had a solo exhibition My Life in the Bush with MJ and Iggy at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco as well as a solo exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2018, Gray's work was included in Public Fiction: the Conscientious Objector at the MAK Center for Art & Architecture in Los Angeles where he directed a new durational performance delivered by professional actors, and ten of Gray's works were included in the major summer group exhibition Michael Jackson: On the Wall at London's National Portrait Gallery, travelling to the Grand Palais Paris, the Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn and the Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland through 2019 (cat.).
Currently, Gray has a solo exhibition Pluralities of Being at the Palm Springs Art Museum though April 2019 and will have solo exhibition at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, CA this autumn (cat.). In addition, Gray's work has been chosen to be included in the 2019 iteration of The Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York opening in May.