White Columns is pleased to present a solo exhibition by the Oaxaca, Mexico-based artist Dr. Lakra (b. 1972, Mexico City). Dr. Lakra’s work has been exhibited widely over the past three decades, but rarely in New York: this exhibition will be only his second solo show in the city, following a 2011 project at The Drawing Center.
At White Columns, Dr. Lakra will present a previously unseen group of recent collage works. Throughout his practice, which fluidly embraces drawing, sculpture, collage and tattooing, Dr. Lakra has created a deeply personal, visionary language borne out of a collision of his prevailing interests in anthropology and popular culture, to create often deeply unsettling works that revel in taboos and myths.
Dr. Lakra is an obsessive collector of objects and all kinds of printed ephemera, a tendency that is evident here (and also in his extraordinary artist’s books). Dr. Lakra draws from this encyclopedic range of found materials and imagery to create his recent collages, which include fragments excised from comic books, vintage anatomy manuals, lifestyle magazines, and much more besides.
Starting with a found portrait image, typically sourced from a historical volume and of a notable male subject, Dr. Lakra subsequently subverts the original image’s intent – i.e. to celebrate and aggrandize its subject - through an often sardonic reconstruction (or de-construction) of the subject’s identity.
In these collages, Dr. Lakra invokes the ghosts of Arcimboldo, Dada and Surrealism whilst reverberating with the contemporaneous work of artists as different as John Stezaker, Linder Sterling and Frida Orupabo, among others, creating in turn new ‘portraits’ that walk a fine line between the comedic and the grotesque.