Chris Burden first gained international attention in the 1970s as an influential and often controversial figure in the West Coast body art, performance and Conceptual Art movements. Once ironically termed the "Evel Knieval of contemporary art," Conceptual Art, Burden allowed himself to be shot, crucified, almost drowned and electrocuted.
In 1974, he began working with video, using it as an integral component of his performances, as well as for the documentation of his works and in the production of conceptual TV "commercials."
In the late 1970s, Burden began producing sculptural objects, installations and technological or mechanical inventions, including the monumental BCar and The Big Wheel. In these extensions of his conceptual works, Burden addresses the artist's relationship to an industrialized and technological society.
Burden was born in 1946. He received a B.A. from Pomona College, Claremont, California, and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. A major retrospective of his work, Chris Burden: A Twenty Year Survey, was organized in 1988 by the Newport Harbor Art Museum, California. He has performed and exhibited his work internationally, at institutions including Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; de Appel, Amsterdam; The Tate Museum, London; The Baltic Centre, Newcastle, England; The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA; Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and currently teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Burden lives in Topanga, California.