ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

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RM

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.75 x 11.5 in. / 116 pgs / 120 color.

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Catalog: FALL 2010 p. 174   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9788492480869 TRADE
List Price: $35.00 CDN $47.50

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In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Boston, MA
The Institute of Contemporary Art, 04/14/10-09/06/10

New York
The Drawing Center, 12/24/10

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Dr. Lakra

Text by Dr. Lakra, Gabriel Orozco.

Dr. LakraA refined woman gazes elegantly from the cover of a mid-twentieth-century Mexican magazine--its title, Blanca Sol, lays bare the publication's Eurocentric character--but the cover girl's loveliness is compromised by the penciled-in skull that replaces the right side of her face. In another image, a sleek gentleman who might otherwise be debonair becomes fearsome and fierce with the addition of a pattern of contoured lines, like Aztec facial tattoos, over his entire face. This is the work of Mexican artist Dr. Lakra, who superimposes mystical, ancient or funerary symbolism--gang tattoos, bones and skulls, Aztec warrior heads, spider webs, serpents and demons--onto vintage advertisements, girlie pinups, Japanese prints, baby dolls, cast skulls and the like, attaining an effect that resembles a Dia de los Muertos altar slyly erected in place of a kitchen table in the home furnishings section of a Mexico City department store. "In one way or another, the noncivilized human, the nonrefined, the primitive, is always being repressed, in a way that's almost criminal," Dr. Lakra, who also works as a tattoo artist, has said. "I think that through these themes you can define the essence of culture." This lavishly illustrated volume contains 120 color images of Lakra's work, plus a contribution from renowned Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco.

Born Jerónimo López Ramírez in 1972, Dr Lakra is an artist and tattooist based in Oaxaca, Mexico. Lakra has shown his work internationally, at Tate Modern in London, The Drawing Center and Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and elsewhere.

Featured image is reproduced from Dr. Lakra. Essayist Eduardo Abaroa writes, "Are we looking at a critique of the concept of the primitive or at an attempt to regress to a moment before civilization? The question is inevitable in the face of Dr. Lakra’s drawings."

Dr. Lakra

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FROM THE BOOK
"Worms and snakes coil around their fettered extremities, their torsos, their breasts, as if the artist were making an effort to draw the desired woman out of the photograph and touch her. In one image a model looks at herself in the mirror while two skeleton figures and a serpent seem to be trying to distract her from her rapture. The skeleton figures are direct heirs of the Mexican tradition, of course. But there are also faces from Hieronymus Bosch and from European prints of the Middle Ages. If these kinds of monsters were once seen as representations of illicit desires, in Dr. Lakra they no longer point any moral. They are the alternate personalities of the artist, his henchmen in the task of seizing these women and not letting them flee, so that their images do not die with them."

Eduardo Abaroa, excerpted from Dr. Lakra.

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