Trevor Smith on Mark Bradford: Transcript

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? As a young man growing up it was assumed that because he was so tall Mark Bradford would want to become a basketball player, but, in fact, he was much more drawn to hair design and wanted to work in his mother’s salon.

In this video, Bradford plays with both career expectations and gender norms by wearing a hoop skirt to practice basketball. The flowing skirt gets in the way of dribbling and trips him up as he drives for the basket. It’s a way for him to create an image of tension between appearance and desire.

Each of us has had some kind of experience where we’re expected to behave a specific way, but we either have to roleplay or resist. Such struggles are very often the seedbed for creative expression.

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