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ABOUT THE ARTIST
William Scarbrough was born in Knoxville, TN. in 1968. He earned his BFA in Printmaking from Colorado State University in 1990, and his MFA in Printmaking from the Pennsylvania State University in 1993. While in Colorado and Pennsylvania, he studied Performance Art as well. In graduate school Scarbrough began to examine and deconstruct the influences of media and propaganda.
Scarbrough’s work addresses our desensitization to violence through media images that sensationalize, sanitize, glamorize, and otherwise transform horrific acts into accepted ones. Scarbrough’s art also addresses how technology and organizations help neutralize people’s abhorrence of violence, thus paving the way for unspeakable acts to occur with the knowledge of and even in the presence of individuals who feel absolved of all responsibility. In addition, he addresses issues of media literacy in how we interact with the media and our relationship with it.
Scarbrough has successfully reached audiences not only within but also outside of what is commonly referred to as “The Art World” by creating socially pertinent work with both formal strength and conceptual depth. He has twice headlined the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and was awarded the 1998 Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Grant. In addition to lecturing at universities, museums and galleries, he has appeared on The Jerry Springer Show, and was the keynote speaker for The Hemlock Society’s 1994 annual meeting. Not surprisingly, Scarbrough’s artworks have evoked significant responses from the public. His work has received coverage from Harper’s, Penthouse, Details, Cover, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Artbyte, Artthrob, Anthony Haden-Guest’s “True Colors: The Real Life of The Art World,” The New Art Examiner, Art South Africa, and many other publications. In 2019, HBO purchased Scarbrough’s documentary film, Reclamation, about The Atlanta Child Murders, and incorporated it into a larger docu-series on the subjest matter that was released on the platform in 2021. Scarbrough participated as an information consultant and creative contributor on that project. He has also been interviewed by many podcasts and publications about his documentary, his research and investigations of the murder cases, and the life of the man convicted in the killings, Wayne Willams.
After living in New York City for seventeen years Scarbrough relocated to Cape Town, South Africa, where he now lives with his wife and two sons.
And his story continues.