Friday, January 9, 2009 review

Here is a little self-promotion...I got a nice review in

BROOKLYN—David Kramer is Brooklyn’s answer to Richard Prince. Both artists rely on text and appropriated images, but while Prince borrows from joke books, and his work might be criticized for its cold indifference, Kramer’s musings are for the most part autobiographical and sincere. His kinder, gentler approach comes out of his idealized expectations of life, and his frequent disappointment.

For “Snake Oil,” his current exhibition at Pierogi in Brooklyn, Kramer exhibits a series of framed works on paper and a large sculptural diptych, all of which were created during a recent residence at Yaddo. Included are text-only paintings featuring rainbow hues and blobs of color blocking out passages. In Untitled (Retrospective), Kramer cites a conversation he had with another artist about the 2007 Richard Serra retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, without mentioning it by name. The other artist comes to the conclusion that with all of the power and influence a museum like MoMA has, it could do something more practical to help people than mount such grandiose exhibitions. Other works juxtapose personal anecdotes with imagery from magazine advertisements, seemingly anonymous and banal illustrations that could have been taken from 1970s greeting cards.

Carefully crafted to resemble a found object, his mixed-media sculpture Untitled (Snake Oil and Free Kool Aide) looks like two old-fashioned roadside signs you might see at the entrance to a gas station parking lot or outside a convenience store in small-town America. Each has bold letters and an arrow with blinking lights on the front side and hand-painted text on the reverse. One, peddling snake oil, features a stinging diatribe about a shady art dealer, while the other, promoting "free Kool Aide," boasts a rant about not wanting to pay for cable television.

Last year Kramer’s art was featured in an episode of Donald Trump’s reality show The Apprentice on NBC, although from what the artist says, the experience was not altogether positive. Maybe that’s lucky for him, though, as he’ll no doubt find a way to weave the ordeal into his self-deprecating, painfully truthful work.

“Snake Oil” is on view through February 1


Anonymous said...

Nice review.

I think your next text painting should say:


knithound brooklyn said...

And THIS is why you have to forget the wackadoodles that come to your openings and focus on the fact that you HAD an opening! Congrats!