In the fifth exhibition in Laguna Art Museum’s ex•pose series, Los Angeles-based artist Richard Kraft presented a new body of work. Combining a succession of films he has made since summer 2012, he created an installation fully surrounding the viewer. Although there were several locations—Los Angeles, New York, and India—the collective experience was less about particular geographic locations than about a state of being and the multifaceted wonder of seeing. Anchored by a set of images from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, the films contrasted and complemented each other, constantly shifting while creating a visual thread of interconnected life forms. Because of the varying length of the films and the multiple locations of the projections, no single viewer was able to take in the entirety. The complete experience was an accumulation of viewings over time. A new departure for Kraft, the installation continued his exploration of the possibilities of film, photography, collage, and performance.
In a smaller gallery, Kraft mainly used imagery from Kapitan Kloss, a Polish Cold War comic book from the 1970s. These works were collaged and photographed to give the scale of broadside propaganda. The construction of text and images created a disruptive narrative, while their layers allowed for multiple readings, inviting viewers to enjoy the absurd.
Richard Kraft grew up in London and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been featured at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles; LA Louver in Venice Beach; Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica; Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle; the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska; and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. Kraft frequently uses public spaces for his installations and performances and has a public project in the works with the City of West Hollywood tentatively scheduled for fall 2014. Also in 2014, Siglio Press will publish an artist’s book by Kraft, a collage work based on the Cold War-era Polish comic Kapitan Kloss.
ex·pose is a contemporary art program curated by Grace Kook-Anderson, curator of contemporary art at Laguna Art Museum. Focusing on one emerging or mid-career artist at a time, the program encourages the development of new projects and an immersive involvement with the museum’s Young Artists Society Gallery program. ex·pose aims to present a diverse range of artists working in all mediums.
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