Dr. Lakra (b.1972, Mexico City) has created a personal language, enabling a dialogue between anthropology, popular culture, music and anatomy that reveals his personal interest in taboos, fetishes, myths, and iconography from various cultures.
On this occasion the artist presents his third exhibition at kurimanzutto, this time showing a selection of Indian-ink drawings on paper. These drawings are based on the Chinese tradition of Sumi-e, a monochromatic drawing technique that developed in China during the first Century C.E. and was introduced in Japan in the 14th century by Zen Buddhist monks. Dr. Lakra has been experimenting with this technique for the last five years. Over the course of this experimentation he has focused thematically on Japanese iconography, integrating occasional touches of color and his idiosyncratic sense of humor. These drawings contain figures which personify raw aspects of human nature such as violence, mysticism, sex, and survival.
The work in this exhibition portrays the deep fascination Dr. Lakra has for the history of Oriental arts since his visit to Asia in the 1990s. Dr. Lakra also feeds his imagination through the exchange of ideas among his peers including artists, musicians and friends with whom he has collaborated through the years.
Presented at the center of the exhibition space is a mezcal-based project titled Los dos amigos. A collaboration between Abraham Cruzvillegas and Dr. Lakra, this project emerged from more than three decades and friendship between the two artists. Some years ago Dr. Lakra and Cruzvillegas purchased and bottled several liters of mezcal from Chichicapam, Oaxaca, distilled by Migotas and his family. For the bottling process the two artists jointly created labels adhered to recycled liquor bottles from their friends’ parties and gatherings. Little by little these mezcal bottles have formed a collection that establishes a particular and unique dialogue between the artists that created them. The bottles reveal shared formal concerns, re-appropriated images, and recurrent creative interpretations in the work of both artists. The process of creating these bottles is entirely hand-made and artisanal, from the production and bottling of the mezcal to the design of each label.
“The objects we produced are rich with information we both have shared with each other as friends and colleagues for more than 18 years. The social capital accumulated over the years has allowed us to place our personal discourses in a field that keeps developing”
–Dr. Lakra and Abraham Cruzvillegas, Los dos amigos, 2005