Kate MacGarry is pleased to present Dr Lakra’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. His visual language is informed by myths and idols, cartoons and toys, art history and folklore and spans a wide range of media, from sculpture and painting to tattoos, artist’s books, collage and print.
The exhibition comprises new bronze sculptures and wall-mounted totems interspersed with large, black and white cutouts. The sculptures are amalgamations of religious ephemera, figures from pop culture, antique objects and erotica; the subject matter in one sculpture can quickly shift from E.T. to Buddha to a pin-up to a demon. This stark juxtaposition of objects with intense iconographic power, creates beguiling sculptures akin to secular votives and redolent of surrealist collage and ancient archetypal objects.
The black and white cutouts depict curious and strange figures; Hindu deities wearing African masks, Grecian kings with cartoon faces, Japanese warriors and Egyptian artefacts adorned with medieval helmets. Such archetypal figures were mapped by Freud in Totem and Taboo, Jung in Man and His Symbols and Joseph Campbell in The Mythic Image. Lakra has created unique icons by combining spiritual relics with symbols of contemporary culture such as toy soldiers, cuddly toys and film characters. Here, the most ordinary, commonplace objects appear sacred; the sculptures dismantle and reassemble cultural ideologies, calling to question our notions of truth and belief. It is the combination of histories and cultures that defines these artworks, their recall of ancient human culture contrasting with the brevity of contemporary culture.
Dr. Lakra was born in 1972 in Mexico City. He lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico. Solo exhibitions include Dr Lakra, MATE, Lima, Peru (2016); Dr Lakra, Akvarelle Museet, Skarhamm, Sweden (2015); Monomito, Kurimanzutto, Mexico (2015); Mexican Demons and Dancing Skeletons, Hostelbro Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2012); Dr Lakra, Marco-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico City (2011); Dr Lakra, The Drawing Center, New York (2011); Dr Lakra, ICA Boston (2010). Group exhibitions include Shifting Sands: Hybrid Rituals & Symbols in Contemporary Culture, An exhibition of works by Serena Korda and Dr. Lakra, Modern Art Oxford, UK (2015); Magnificent Obsesions: The Artist as Collector, Barbican, London (2015); Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities, MOMA, New York (2007); Untitled: Pin-Up, Tate Modern, UK (2005).
Press release courtesy Kate MacGarry.