New Works by Richard Kraft: “Ubu/Trump” and “It Is What It Is”: All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump

Affinities, Exhibitions, News, Print This!

September 28th, 2020

 

 

(Note: this was originally posted January 21, 2018 and has been updated on September 28, 2020.)

In 2017, artist Richard Kraft (author of Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera and co-editor of Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats and John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) embarked on two projects in response to the Trump presidency.

Kraft’s Trump/Ubu stickers appropriate (completely unedited) texts along with a woodcut image of Ubu from Alfred Jarry’s 1896 revolutionary play Ubu Roi which is an excoriating critique of the moronic in power. Due to their popularity (Siglio has given away sets of stickers to Advocates and other friends of Siglio as well as at various venues last year), we’re making them available for free for wider dissemination.

You can download the Ubu/Trump pdf, print them out (on sticker paper!), and please send us photos that we can post Instagram @Ubu_Trump where we’ve just started to catalog Ubu/Trump “in action.”

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Since Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, Kraft has been tracking and cataloguing the president’s offenses and transgressions on a daily basis. In the manner of a soccer referee, he has assigned a yellow or a red card to each foul, each offense, each time Trump has breached codes of conduct in action or speech. As of October 1, 2020, we have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund “It Is What It Is”: All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump, January 2017 – January 2021, a four-volume set of artist’s books that has resulted from Kraft’s vigilance and creativity. Support the project at Kickstarter until November 4, and get the set of books at a very special early price. You can check out the “progress report” here. And there’s complete info here, including a press release.

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Richard Kraft  takes a multi-disciplinary approach (incorporating photography, video, collage, drawing and performance) as he seeks to construct environments and interrupt the world around us so that incongruities, paradoxes, and multiplicity of meaning might yield a new orientation to the familiar.

In April 2015 Siglio Press published Kraft’s artist’s book, Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, and he co-edited the first complete volume of John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) as well as My Ogre Book, Shadow Theater, Midnight by Marcel Broodthaers, both for Siglio. Publications include BOMB, Bookforum, and Carousel among other journals, and in 2016 his work was featured in The New Collage Book, a comprehensive survey published by Gestalten.

Kraft has frequently made work for public spaces, with pieces appearing on the sides of buses and in library aisles, as well as for performances which have taken place in Oxford Circus and Speaker’s Corner in London, along the Las Vegas Strip, at the Wendover Air Force Base, outside “Little Sparta” in rural Scotland, and downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2015, The City of West Hollywood (as part of the its thirtieth anniversary celebrations) commissioned Kraft to produce One Hundred Walkers, West Hollywood which received a Year in Review Award from Americans for the Arts/Public Art Network.

Exhibitions include the Charlie James Gallery, LA Louver, Rosamund Felsen and Greg Kucera, as well as museum, university and non-profit art spaces, including the Portland Art Museum, the Laguna Art Museum, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the Ruffin Gallery at the University of Virginia, Occidental College, and Printed Matter, among others. He lives and works in the Hudson River Valley, NY and Los Angeles.