Archives of American Art

Oral history interview with Ed Bereal

Collection ID:
Bereal, Edmund, 1937-
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter
2016 February 13
Physical Description:
7 Items
sound files (2 hrs., 45 min.)
digital, wav
63 Pages

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Ed Bereal, conducted 2016 February 13, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art at the home of artist Warren Blakely, in Los Angeles, California.
Scope and Contents
Bereal discusses growing up in Riverside, California during World War Two; his parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles and their musical activities in and around San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles; the racial make-up of Riverside during the '40s along with the effects of being near March Air Force Base; his time in school and early interest in art and illustration; his applications to art schools and eventual acceptance to Chouinard; the influence of Robert Irwin and Richards Ruben at Chouinard as well as the exposure to national and international artists brought there by Virginia Dwan; the Huysman Gallery group show War Babies in 1961 and the subsequent controversy; his work as an artist under a stipend from Ms. Dwan; his time teaching at UC Riverside and UC Irvine; and his relationships with his wives, girlfriends, and his daughters. Bereal also describes the impact of the Watts Riots in 1965 on his art and his family; his growing political awareness as a black man living in America at the time; his decision to leave the traditional art world and focus on political theater with his guerilla theater troupe Bodacious Buggerrilla; his time at the Watts Writers Workshop with Budd Schulberg; his focus on creating sets and environments for his theater troupe; the FBI questioning of his troupe and the subsequent decision to close it down and start the television studio Bodacious TV Works; his relocation with his wife Barbara Sternberger in the '90s to Bellingham, Washington to teach and work; his interest in holographic art and creating illusion in art; his perspective on the history of black artists in the Los Angeles area in the 1950s and '60s; his show from the same year as the interview at the Harmony Murphy Gallery and the incorporation of graffiti in that show. Bereal recalls Emerson Woelffer, Jerry McMillan, Ron Miyashiro, Laura Sterns, Gerald Buck, and Meade Lux Lewis along with Ed Kienholz, Joe Goode, Mary Pautsch, Barbara Temken, Barbara Lewis, Mike Frimkess, Dr. Cary Kaufman, Buster Jones, and Buddy Jones, among others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Ed Bereal (1937- ) is an assemblage artist who worked in Los Angeles, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is an art critic and writer from Beverly Hills, California.

Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Digital Content

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American artists Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Assemblage artists -- California -- Los Angeles Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001