Since the 1970s, Mike Mandel has been deeply engaged with photography, using its changing tools to pursue projects that question the nature and uses of a medium too often taken at face value. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he worked with found photographs and film-based cameras to produce a highly conceptual series of books and exhibitions that revealed the inherent ambiguity of photographic images. Among these projects is Evidence (1977), a book of found photographs from government, scientific, military, and police archives, created in collaboration with Larry Sultan. A seminal work, it demonstrated that the meaning of a photograph is conditioned by its context. In the 1980s, Mandel became interested in public art and began producing photo-based, mosaic murals. Composed of thousands of colored tiles, which he compares to pixels, his murals adorn public spaces and buildings across America.

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