Chris Burden received his master's in fine art from UC Irvine in 1971. For his thesis, he locked himself in a school locker for five days with 5 gallons of water suspended above him.
This was the start of Burden's career as a performance artist, following a personal journey viewing contemporary art as a harbinger of political, social, environmental and technological change. Burden used his body as a canvas for his experimental statements, building a reputation in the international art scene for the next decade.
With the dawn of the 1980s, the artist switched his focus to object-making. During the last 30 years, he has dedicated his career to producing a varied collection of expressions of his view of a changing world. Among the most notable was "What My Dad Gave Me," a project installed at New York's Rockefeller Center in 2008, which consisted of a 65-foot tall Erector Set skyscraper.