Mike Bidlo

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Not Pollock, 1982. One of Bidlo's series of accurate replicas of Jackson Pollock's drip paintings.

Michael "Mike" Bidlo (born 20 October 1953) is an American painter, sculptor and performance artist.

Life and work[edit]

Bidlo was born in Chicago, Illinois and studied at the University of Illinois (BA,1973), Southern Illinois University Carbondale (MFA,1975), and at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, (MA,1978). Bidlo's first solo show in 1982, entitled Jack the Dripper at Peg's Place, was part exhibition and part performance. The show was based on the 1950 Hans Namuth film of Jackson Pollock at work, and comprising a series of highly accurate replicas of Pollock's drip paintings, complete with a re-enactment of Pollock's famous act of urinating into Peggy Guggenheim’s fireplace.

Bidlo followed this show with a series of performance works, leading to him being initially regarded primarily as a performance artist. He is best known today, however, as a strong devotee of 20th century modern art and his incredibly accurate replication of the works of significant modernist artists, including Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp, Warhol and Brâncuși. In 1984, he recreated Warhol’s Factory, and in 1988 he exhibited 80 copies of Picasso’s paintings of women. Using only reproductions for reference, Bidlo creates exact replicas of his chosen subject. Many of his works are free-hand drawings, devoid of color.

Bidlo's approach has caused outrage amongst some critics, and has gained him some notoriety. He also has many supporters who see his work as an exploration of the mystery of originality, creativity and genius. Bidlo was part of the fashionable East Village art scene of New York in the 1980s, and was a central member of the "appropriationist" movement, alongside others such as Philip Taaffe and Sherrie Levine.


  • Mike Bidlo, By Mike Bidlo, Marit Woltmann, Gunnar B. Kvaran, 2002. ISBN 82-91430-33-0
  • Contemporary Artists By Sara Pendergast, Tom Pendergast. 2002. ISBN 1-55862-488-0. str. 173
  • Avant-garde in the eighties By Howard N. Fox, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 1987. ISBN 0875871380
  • The object of performance By Henry M. Sayre. 1987. ISBN 0-87587-138-0

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