BRUCE BICKFORD – Posters, Drawings, Clay Relics. Opening: Thursday, October 11, 2018 5-10pm

| October 7, 2018

BRUCE BICKFORD – Posters, Drawings, Clay Relics. Opening: Thursday, October 11, 2018 5-10pm.

Show runs through November 3, 2018.

Bruce is showing his new poster series featuring legendary rock icon Frank Zappa as well as clay relics from The Amazing Mr. Bickford’s Topanga and Santa Monica animation studios.

From his home workshop/film studio in SeaTac, famously reclusive and idiosyncratic Pacific Northwest animation artist Bruce Bickford has for three decades produced undeniably visionary art films. Although self-taught, the enigmatic and esteemed animation pioneer — once deemed “the world’s greatest animator” — has earned a worldwide following of animation aficionados enthralled by his ingenious, disturbing, lysergic, phantasmagorical, often violent, eye-popping, and mind-bogglingly unique work. Acquiring a film camera as a teenager, Bickford began experimenting with modeling clay and a primitive stop-motion animation technique (what is called “clay animation”) — a labor-intensive process that Bickford is rightly considered both a pioneer and master of. He gained his initial cult-status fame by animating various 1970s Frank Zappa films (for which Bickford is considered a father of the subsequent music-video revolution), but his most highly regarded piece is the masterful and award-winning 1988 feature Prometheus’ Garden. Bickford’s work has also been highlighted in Zappa’s 1990 The Amazing Mr. Bickford film; exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum; and featured in the 1994 history book Clay Animation: American Highlights 1908 to the Present, the 1995 film The Clay Spirit, and two bio-documentary films, 2004’s award-winning Monster Road and 2008’s Luck of a Foghorn.

Read the entire bio here:

Website here:


Bruce Bickford (born in Seattle, February 11, 1947) is a maker of animated films who works primarily in clay animation. From 1974 to 1980 he collaborated with Frank Zappa. Bickford’s animation was featured extensively in the Frank Zappa videos Baby Snakes and The Dub Room Special. Zappa also released a video titled The Amazing Mr. Bickford, which was entirely composed of Bickford animations set to a soundtrack of Zappa’s orchestral music.

Bickford’s animations depict surreal scenes based on his unique worldview. Often outwardly seeming to be somewhat disconnected from the world around him, Bruce Bickford’s work is extremely subjective in its content and concepts, making for some disturbing and shocking imagery. Much of his video work depicted fast-moving, fluid-like transformations of human figures and disfigured faces into odd beasts on surreal structural settings with impressive camera effects (moving around within his stop-motion animation).

His life and work were featured in the 2004 biographical documentary film Monster Roaddirected by Brett Ingram.

In 2006, he was working on Boar’s Head/Whore’s Bed (line animation, 4500+ frames and counting), Tales of the Green River and Castle 2001, a feature-length film which is animated using 3D shapes made out of bits of paper.

In 2008, Prometheus’ Garden was released, a 28 minute short originally completed in 1988. The DVD also features Luck of a Foghorn, a documentary about the making of the film.

Mr. Bickford was the first guest to appear on the internet radio show Pussyfoot.

In 2015, Bickford was working on a 500+ page graphic novel titled Vampire Picnic, which he is hoping to publish with Fantagraphics.

On September 1, 2015, Bickford’s new animated feature Cas’l was released on DVD. Most of the original animating had been done from 1988-1997. The film (or earlier versions of it) had previously been shown at various film festivals from 2008 onwards with live musical accompaniment, as a final soundtrack was not yet made.

Category: Art

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