Dr. Lakra’s work is characterized by irreverent and provocative images that transgress established norms and leave the viewer teetering between attraction and repulsion. His practice includes drawing and mural painting as well as tattoo, collage, and sculpture. His compositions are exquisite corpses of historical references and contemporary images, incorporating quotes from popular culture and intermingling them with diverse religious and social iconographies. The way he juxtaposes and refashions these various elements reveals a profound understanding of art history, as well as a subversive sense of humor. Grotesque physical deformity coexists with sensuality and eroticism in pieces that combine aspects of life, death, and desire.
While Dr. Lakra is best known for his drawings and paintings on appropriated posters, erotic magazines, and postcards, this exhibition focuses in large part on his sculptures. Informed by his interest in tattoo and subsequent studies in anthropology and ethnography, these sculptures display his fascination with the taboos, fetishes, myths and rituals of different cultures.
An avid collector of diverse objects, Lakra views the search for materials and images as an extension of his work. In his case, collecting is also a way of constructing a language from the curiosities that populate his studio – a language made up of books, magazines, plastic dolls, and dried insects. Flea markets and garage sales yield unexpected encounters with many of the artifacts that are currently on display at kurimanzutto. Sculpted in wax and cast in bronze, these totemic amalgamations of objects and artifacts function as contemporary idols: evidence of a modern mythology transmitted through movies, comics, books, and television.
In this exhibition, Dr. Lakra examines the ideological content of everyday objects. Even the simplest toy contains evidence of the culture that produced it, embodying synthesized and stylized societal myths, histories, and beliefs. Lakra dismantles and questions dominant ideologies through his sculptures and collages in which he recombines the heads and bodies of different deities. This assemblage of various religions and philosophies is an act meant to destabilize and subvert. Lakra also creates sculptural interventions with the busts of renowned musicians, politicians, and writers, deforming their faces with grotesque protuberances that threaten the perceived perfection and authority of classical sculpture. In both cases, the artist appropriates conventional images to question what is considered civilized or barbaric, correct or incorrect, “high” art or folk art.
Dr. Lakra has had solo exhibitions at the following institutions: Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Skärhamn, Sweden; Hostelbro Kunstmuseum, Hostelbro, Denmark; Museo de la Ciudad de México, Mexico; MARCO-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico; Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, United States; The Drawing Center, New York, United States; MACO-Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, Mexico; Kunsthaus Tacheles, Berlin, Germany.
He has also participated in group exhibitions at: The Brandts-Museum of Art and Visual Culture, Odense, Denmark (2014); Quai Branly Museum, Paris, France (2014); Museo Nacional de Arte, Guadalajara, Mexico (2014); Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, México, Mexico (2013); Centro de las Artes San Agustín Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico (2011); Manila Contemporary, Makati, Phillipines (2010); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, California (2010); Museo Universitario del Chopo, México, Mexico (2010); FLAG Art Foundation, New York, United States (2010); Museau da Cidade, Lisbon, Portugal (2009); The Alameda National Center, San Antonio, United States (2008); Yokahama Museum of Art, Yokahama, Japan (2007); Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, United States (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, United States (2007); Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark (2007), among others.
Dr. Lakra currently lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico.