Walead Beshty was born in 1976 in London. He studied at Bard College, where he received his BFA in 1999, and Yale University, where he received his MFA in 2002. Beshty works in a variety of mediums, including photography, sculpture, painting, installation, and video.
One of his best-known series, Travel Pictures (2001), is a set of nine photographs taken in an abandoned Iraqi diplomatic office in former East Berlin. The images were then deliberately damaged in the x-ray screening at the airport, reflecting the denatured and exposed state of both the site and Beshty’s travel experience. His works often grapple with how meaning and relationships within objects emerge out of their contexts and how the “aesthetics” of art can be demystified and democratized, emphasizing that they can be understood by anyone, regardless of the amount of capital or power the viewers possess.
Beshty has had solo exhibitions at Regen Projects (Los Angeles), Petzel Gallery (New York, Berlin), and Thomas Dane Gallery (London), among others. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), MASS MoCA (North Adams), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. He lives and works in Los Angeles.