All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump, January 2017–January 2021
Published by Siglio.
When Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017, New York–based artist Richard Kraft felt the necessity, like many others, of keeping a close watch on his presidency. Every day, Kraft scoured the news and Trump’s Twitter feed, assigning, like a referee in a soccer match, colored cards associated with transgressing rules and codes of conduct. Published in an edition of 650 copies, this five-volume set presents over 10,000 cards for Trump’s words and actions. In soccer, yellow signifies a warning. Red is for those offenses for which a player should be dismissed. Soon after the inauguration, Kraft began adding more colors for other infractions. When asked about COVID-19’s death toll by journalist Jonathan Swan, Trump replied, “It is what it is.” This project takes its title from that callous dismissal. A brute confrontation with the facts of Trump's presidency, it is also a durational work of art, marrying futility with vigilance, transforming toxicity into beauty.
Published by Siglio. Text by Danielle Dutton. Interview by Ann Lauterbach.
In this wildly irreverent collage narrative, Los Angeles artist Richard Kraft reassembles a pre-perestroika era comic about a Polish spy infiltrating the Nazis, orchestrating a multiplicity of voices into joyous cacophony. Like an Indian miniature painting, each comic book page is densely layered, collapsing foreground and background, breaking the frame and merging time. An enormous cast of characters emerges as Kraft appropriates images and texts from an extraordinary variety of sources (the Amar Chitra Katha comics of Hindu mythology, Jimmy Swaggart's Old and New Testament stories, the 1960s English football annual Scorcher, underground porn comics like Cherry, images from art history, outdated encyclopedias and more). Kraft constructs a world constantly in flux, rich with dark humor and revelatory nonsense. Writer Danielle Dutton's set of 16 interpolations punctuate the book using similar strategies of appropriation and juxtaposition to create texts that sing in the same arresting register as Kraft's collages. Here Comes Kitty also includes a conversation between poet Ann Lauterbach and artist Richard Kraft.