MEXICO CITY, MEXICO [1938-2008]
Graham was a sculptor based in the state of California in the United States. His monumental bronzes commemorate the human figure, and are featured in public places across America.
By the late 1960s, Graham had one-man exhibitions of his sculpture at important contemporary art galleries in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York City, London, Cologne, and Essen, Germany. He, along with family members Joey and Steven, lived in London for a period before settling in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. His first solo exhibition in a museum was at the Dallas Museum of Art in 1972. Since then he has had dozens of one-man shows, including several at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Graham used a range of materials and scales in his work. In the 1970s he created very small wax sculptures (circa 4 inches (10 cm)) in miniature dioramas, depicting people interacting in various contemporary environments, such as a living room or a beach scene. Some of these interactions included sexual congress. Graham's 1986 monument to the boxer Joe Louis is a 24 feet (7.3 m) bronze fist and forearm. He has created hundreds of nude figures and groupings in intermediate scales.
Graham's first major monumental commission was the ceremonial gateway for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, for the occasion of the 1984 Olympics. He also designed the commemorative silver dollar for the event. The gateway featured two bronze torsos, male and female, modeled on contestants in the games. The gateway was a major design element of an Olympiad noted for its lack of new construction. To the surprise of many, the nudity of the torsos became an issue in the media.
After 1984, Graham received many other commissions for monumental works, such as The Great Bronze Doors of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles (2002).