Dread Scott

Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward.  He first received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of controversy over its use of the American flag while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. President G.H.W. Bush called his art “disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced this work and outlawed it when they passed legislation to “protect the flag.”

1988; Silver gelatin print, US flag, book, pen, shelf, audience; 80 x 28 x 60 inches

1988; Silver gelatin print, US flag, book, pen, shelf, audience; 80 x 28 x 60 inches

Dread Scott works in a range of media: performance, installation, video, photography, printmaking and painting.  "The thread that connects mywork is an engagement with sharp social questions confronting humanity and a desire to push formal and conceptual boundaries as part of contributing to artistic development."

"I make revolutionary art to propel history forward. This is a world where a tiny handful of people controls the great wealth and knowledge humanity as a whole has created. It is a world of profound polarization, exploitation and suffering and billions are excluded from intellectual development and full participation in society. It does not have to be this way and my art is part of forging a radically different world. The work illuminates the misery that this society creates for so many people and it often encourages the viewer to envision how the world could be."

Let 100 Flowers Blossom, Let 100 Schools of Thought Contend, inkjet prints, wood, flowers, 8 x 19 x 1 feet, 2007

Let 100 Flowers Blossom, Let 100 Schools of Thought Contend, inkjet prints, wood, flowers, 8 x 19 x 1 feet, 2007

When an artist decides to confront complex social issues and express them publicly using a visual platform, we can’t help but be pushed out of our comfort zones and face the troubling aspects of our society, which we inadvertently shelve away from our lives.
— Baldev Duggal, Digital Photo Pro

Artist Dread Scott performing “On the Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide,” 2014. Photo credit, Dread Scott

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