Tavares Strachan was born in 1979 in Nassau, Bahamas. He received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he studied glass, and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University. He currently lives and works between Nassau and New York City.
His work is ambitious in its scale and scope. Notable projects include The Distance Between What We Have and What We Want (2006), in which he excavated a 4.5 ton block of ice from the Arctic and sent it via FedEx to the Bahamas where it was displayed in a solar-powered freezer in the courtyard of his childhood elementary school.
Strachan is interested in themes of exploration and displacement, as well as the idea of pushing the body’s physical extremes. Orthostatic Tolerance (2008-11) was a four-year, multi-media work incorporating photography, video, drawing, sculpture and installation and documenting the artist’s experience in cosmonaut training at the Yuri Gagarin Training Center in Star City, Russia.
For the post-Katrina New Orleans Prospect Triennial in 2014, Strachan created You Belong Here, a 100-foot by 22-foot neon sculpture that sat on top of a barge that floated along the Mississippi River. He also recently contributed the work I AM (2017) to the Desert X exhibition in the Coachella Valley, California which involved digging 290 craters over 100,000 sq ft and lining the craters with neon tubes that spelled out “I am” when viewed from the sky.
In 2013, Strachan represented the Bahamas at the 55th International Venice Biennale—the first time the country took part. He was recently appointed to the MIT List Visual Arts Center advisory committee as well as the RISD board.