Sandow Birk was born in 1962 in Seal Beach, just south of Los Angeles where he now lives and works. Birk has pursued a unique career since his graduation from Otis/Parson's Art Institute. With projects that often develop into expansive, multi-media projects, his works take unexpected turns from forgotten scenes in history, to gritty scenes of contemporary life. With an emphasis on social issues, his past works have included inner city violence, graffiti, political issues, travel, war, and prisons, as well as surfing and skateboarding.
He was a recipient of an NEA International Travel Grant to Mexico City in 1995 where he studied mural painting. In 1996 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, followed by a Fulbright Fellowship for painting in Rio de Janeiro in 1997. In 1999 he was awarded a Getty Fellowship for painting, followed by a City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellowship in 2001. In 2007 he was an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2008.
"Birk is pursuing one of the most fascinating, unpredictable careers in Los Angeles art."
- New Times Los Angeles