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Robert Graham (American, 1938-2008)


Robert Graham Robert Graham was born in Mexico City in 1938, but he established himself as an American citizen after moving to Southern California in 1952. He became a sculptor known mostly for his female nudes, commemorative portraits, and public monuments. Graham studied at both the San Jose State College and the San Francisco Art Institute, where he received his master’s in 1964. In the late 1960s, he began showing his work in several solo exhibitions all over the world. Graham developed a name for himself in the contemporary art world with his experimentation with the nude form, using a variety of materials to produce figures in diverse scales.

The first monumental commissioned work he produced was the Olympic Gateway for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at the 1984 Olympics. The gateway sculpture consisted of two nude headless and footless muscular figures. He created other monumental works of several celebrated figures, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Duke Ellington, and boxing champion Joe Louis. Graham married actress Angelica Huston in 1992, making a small cameo appearance in one of her films, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in 2004.

He passed away in December 2008 in Santa Monica, California, with his funeral held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, whose large bronze doors were respectively created by Graham.

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