Monday, October 8, 2012

I made an epic painting in my studio today!
I wish every day there could be this EPIC!!

ANyway its called 
Epic iPhone Photo

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


London Show!

I am in a group show Shizaru Gallery


October 10 Opening

Here is what they are saying ....

Shizaru Gallery is proud to present BAD FOR YOU, an exhibition of contemporary art curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody. Composed of artists based primarily in America, BAD FOR YOU seeks to capture the panoramic strand of contemporary art that deals with the exhibition’s eponymous title.

Artists: Michael Ajerman, Donald Baechler, Mel Bochner, Meghan Boody, Lizzi Bougatsos, Scott Campbell, Larry Clark, Kent Christensen, Will Cotton, David Croland, Alex Da Corte, Tancredi Dollfus, Jameson Ellis, Sebastian Errazuriz, Phillip Estlund, Peter D. Gerakaris, John Gordon Gauld, Al Hansen, Dan Hernandez, Nir Hod, Greg Haberny, Ellen Harvey, Ryan Humphrey, Scott Hunt, Charlotte Kidd, David Kramer, Robert Lazzarini, Tim Liddy, Robert Longo, Liz Markus, Ryan McGinley, Jason Middlebrook, Steve Miller, Marilyn Minter, Maynard Monrow, Richard Pasquarelli, Mimi Pond, Randy Polumbo, Walter Robinson, Alexis Rockman, Holton Rower, Ed Ruscha, Matthew Satz, John Salvest, Tom Sachs, Aurel Schmidt, Cindy Sherman, Soheila Sokhanvari, Steven & William, Fred Tomaselli, Vadis Turner, Lena Viddo, John Waters, Wayne White, Rob Wynne, Firooz Zahedi, Burton Machen, Bouke de Vries, Tony Oursler, Joseph Heidecker, Marina Abramovic, George Stoll, Ray Geary, Dustin Yellin, Ultra Violet, Andy Warhol.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I have a photo of my painting in the NY TImes!

Nice Press in the New York Times
Art in Review

I woke up on Friday and was thumbing through the paper and almost spit up my coffee!
There was a photo of my painting right there in the middle of the page.

I am in a big group show at
Freight and Volume in Chelsea
Double Dirty Dozen and Friends.

I stopped in Thursday and was told of the review and
even read the copy...but I was not mentioned which bummed me out.
I always complain that I never get written about. That the Times critics don't really like me.
Well maybe they are softening up a bit because there in the actual paper was a picture of my painting!
No words can describe, apparently.

Monday, September 10, 2012

GO home! Brooklyn Museum Go Open Studios Weekend

Over the weekend I participated in the Go Brooklyn Open Studios...
I had something like 75-85 people over the weekend.  Maybe a hundred....From all walks of life.

My studio is kind of out of the way or at least there aren't too many other artist studios around my neighborhood. Mostly it is an industrial neighborhood with Marble Fabricators and
Wood shops. On Saturday it poured all morning and by the time it cleared up the crowds were pretty thin... So on Sunday I decided to take some action. I went out with a couple of rolls of Blue Painter's tape and from about 4-5 blocks away, I made arrows all pointing towards my front door. Subliminal advertising as there was no real info, just arrows on buildings and street lamps and sidewalks and roll up gates, etc, etc. All eventually leading into my building and then up the stairs right to my studio door.

At some point my friend Michael showed up and we were sitting around drinking beer and then a woman and then this guy came in, he was all sweaty. He had been jogging and said he saw all the arrows, he just wanted to find out what they were all about.
The guy had no clue about art really about art or even the Open Studios. He said he lived in the neighborhood and went on to say he was a salesman for some "high-end" software company. And he proceeded to tell us all about his past businesses,  selling solar panels, and the one before that one, and his failed marriage etc. The guy was full of information and he kept going and going.

At some point he started to ask me about my paintings, and I was telling him about the advertising images that provoked my work and he immediately  got into the fact that buried somewhere in all of my paintings are subliminal messages; pictures of naked girls and words telling people to love my work and that the work they are looking at really makes them look sexy. I 've been burying these kind of things in the work for years. I think honestly this was the first guy ever to notice it...

We began to speak about that books from the 1970's about writing the SEX on Ritz Crackers and baking them in, or about the dude with a hard-on and the naked woman in the drawing of the camel on the pack of cigarettes....and about how laws were passed to outlaw this kind of behavior and then someone said that they heard this kind of subliminal messaging never really worked in the first place,
to which the Jogger-Guy then says, "Well it really does work. Almost all the people in this world walk through life completely unaware." "They are sleepwalking and unaware, and totally not picking up on all of their past lives ." This guy was a believer in something, but I really have no idea what he was talking about.
The guy got  all  religious or spiritual and I was suddenly like wondering what the hell was I thinking letting a bunch of strangers over to my space... particularly ones who just walked in off the street!

I was happy to have people over all weekend but the reality is that people are often not unaware but just real nut jobs. Thank god I take that kind of stuff with a grain of salt, but I really am glad that I have become so thick-skinned that as soon as this guy started to go all-crystal/zen on me, I immediately excused myself and walked into the next room to grab another beer, and somehow, even though no one else had come by to visit at that time,  never went back to pick up where the conversation left off.

I know I might sound like some kind of dick, but to tell the truth I am what I am. I complained all weekend that not enough people were able to come by because my studio was remote and off the beaten path that most artist take and so I don't have any studios near enough to build up some kind of friendship or community....which I hate to say is exactly how I like it in the first place.
Thank God the Open Studios are over!


Easy To Please 2012 Oil on Canvas 65" x 63"

Friday, August 31, 2012

Next weekend is the Brooklyn Museum Open Studio

I am getting excited. My studio is starting to look good. Clean!

Here is a recent painting.

Game Changer 2012  Oil on Canvas
52" x 48"

Here is a link to the Go Brooklyn Website

I hope lots of people will show up...I buying a keg!

September 8-9 11-7 each day
94 N 15th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Xx David

Monday, August 27, 2012

Go Brooklyn Open Studios is coming this September!

I am participating in the Open Studios
with the Brooklyn Museum
the Weekend of Sat-Sun. Sept 8-9.
I will be there from 11-7.

I have a ton of new work that I am excited about
and I hope lots of people are going to be able to swing by....

Here is my address:
94 N 15th Street , Brooklyn NY
(not far from the L Bedford Avenue
and G Nassau Avenue Stops on the train).

And here is a link to the Go Brooklyn Website for further info.

There is this crowd sourcing curatorial program going on,
and visitors will be allowed to vote for their favorite artists' studio.
There are going to be lots of things to see all around the neighborhood and the rest of

Hope to see you there.


Saturday, August 11, 2012 piece on Anxiety!

article from the Opinionator blog....

AUGUST 6, 2012, 7:00 AM

My Son, Lost and Found


My son, who is 12, loves living in Manhattan. He thinks our neighborhood is great. One day last year he told me he never wanted to leave Chelsea. He could live here the rest of his life, he said. I told him he was very lucky to feel this way, but he was going to have to get his own apartment.

Despite what my wife may tell you, I am not cruel and inhumane. I am not trying to prematurely push my son out the door. I do, however, see it as at least part of my job as a parent to create an independent, self-sufficient young man by the time this is over. Believe me, I am sad that the hand-holding days will soon end, but I'm sure he is going to have much more fun when he is out there on his own.

Lately, I have been encouraging him to try to get out of the house alone. He goes to a school that picks him up in a bus, and so he rarely takes to the streets without a chaperone. He is not quite up for all that independence yet and I respect that. One of his after-school activities is fencing, and even the prospect of walking down Seventh Avenue carrying his sword doesn't give him the confidence he needs to be a solo act on the streets of New York.

When I was very young my family moved out of the city and up to New Rochelle, N.Y. Both my parents worked in Manhattan and although we had a housekeeper, I rarely remember going anywhere with anyone to watch me. I am not trying to sound like a latch-key kid, but I don't recall doing much more than yelling an approximate destination out loud to no one in particular as I was leaving my house. We kids were all on our own on the streets starting in kindergarten. That didn't seem abnormal at all back then.


All this got me thinking about the day I lost my son at Coney Island. He was 4. At the time it was the most traumatic moment of my life.

We'd had some friends in town from Hawaii and wanted to show them what a real beach looked like. So we all trekked out there - me, my wife and son, along with our friends and their two pre-teen boys - on a stifling hot day. It was the day of the Mermaid Parade, so the place was swarming with every kind of person in every kind of costume imaginable. The kids were having fun on the rides. At some point, my son told me he had to go to the bathroom, so we left the others behind and walked toward the rest station on the boardwalk. The bathrooms were packed and we waited in line. My son went to the urinal first and I stood behind him. When he finished I told him to step back and wait right there while I took my turn.

I remember when I was a boy my grandfather would take me and my sisters to Coney Island. He had cousins living across the street from the band shell off Neptune Avenue and whenever we went with him to visit the bright lights of the amusement park drew us over there. My grandfather hated the place - it was full of "Shvartzes," he said. But we would beg him to take us and eventually he'd give in. On one of those trips I had an "emergency" and he took me into the bathroom, which was very crowded, gross and wet. There were no doors on the stalls so my grandfather stood in the doorway to block anyone else's view. But for some reason he did this facing me. So I just sat there for a while. It was not until he turned around that I was finally able to go.

Anyway, there I was now, in maybe that very same bathroom, and when I finished and turned around my son was gone.

The bathroom was chaotic. Turnover rate was high. People rushed in and out, milled around the lines and changed clothes. I could not find my son anywhere. Whatever fears I was having about all of these half naked men and boys and closed doors and every bad thing imaginable happening was only being trumped at that moment by the fear of calling my wife to tell her what I had done.

I ran around to the other set of toilets around the corner, and then outside, which was even more crowded than the actual bathrooms, with people waiting on their friends. He wasn't out there either. He was gone!

I ran back into the bathroom and saw a big guy sitting on a bucket near the door in a Parks Department T-shirt and asked if he saw a little kid. "I saw you come in with him," he said. I knew this guy wasn't capable of much further help so I ran circles around the bathroom and out into the crowd, my mind racing - What the hell am I going to do?

Then, just as I ran out the door, like magic, the crowd seemed to part slightly and there was my son, standing there, oblivious to the fact that he'd been lost. I dropped to my knees and hugged him. This would have been the perfect ending scene to a Hollywood movie, if not for the disgusting puddle of water that I was then kneeling in.

I gave my son a stern lecture, but as I said, he had no idea what he'd done. When we got back to our group at the amusement park, I spilled the beans to my wife, who I can tell you by her reaction to the news that he was "safe," would have killed me if he had actually disappeared.


I am an artist and work in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where I have a studio. Sometimes, when my son is off from school I'll take him out there to work with me. He loves that neighborhood, too, and he is somehow more confident there than he is in Manhattan and will venture out on his own. There is a doughnut shop nearby that he is nuts about. Sometimes I let him walk over there from my studio alone. He knows the way.

On the day of my son's 12th birthday, he was with me all day. I had a busy day planned for myself workwise. I was installing a show at The Boiler, a project space near my studio. In the afternoon I had a meeting back at the Pierogi gallery (which owns The Boiler), a few blocks away. And in between the installation and the meeting, we had to run back to Manhattan to organize a trip out of town the next morning. Not the best birthday for a 12-year-old, but the next day we would be off for the whole weekend.

My son - who does have a name, but has forbidden me to use it here - was totally bored with idea of the return trip to Brooklyn, but on the way there I promised him a doughnut for his cooperation. Once we got back to Brooklyn, we agreed, he would walk to the shop on his own.

When we got off the train he told me he'd forgotten his wallet and phone. I told him that without his phone he'd have to wait for me to get his doughnut - but he was having none of that. As a newly minted 12 year-old, he can be very insistent. As most parents know, there is often no way to argue with a kid who thinks he knows everything.

On top of that I was getting stressed and losing patience. I was late for my meeting and now I had this 12-year-old telling me what to do. "Go," I told him.

There is always a lot of pressure when you are installing a show in a gallery. For this one I had made a piece that was unusual for me - a small-scale version of Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house, complete with a pump and a waterfall of actual running water. Just that morning my son and I had introduced live goldfish into the pond. This piece was for me a tribute to the summer house that I never have the time or the money to buy or even rent for my family.

So this was the plan: He would walk to get his doughnut, taking a specific route. If my meeting finished quickly, I'd go to the doughnut place and find him, taking the same route. If he finished first, he would walk back to the gallery the same way. If we left at the same time, we'd cross paths. We said something about the L train station and the gallery, but who cared? He was mad and I was late.

I was O.K. with this. To me Williamsburg and Greenpoint have been very safe places. I've been working or living there since the 1980's. You could get lost and there were always drunks walking around, but I liked the fact that you could almost always see the Manhattan skyline across the water, like an enormous nightlight to guide you.

My meeting went quickly so when I was done I started out after him. As I was walking past McCarren Park it occurred to me that he had to be on his way back by now. It can't take that long to eat a doughnut. I was starting to see holes in our plan. We never discussed what side of the street to walk on, and with the cars and people it was hard to see both sides of the street at the same time. There were lots of hipsters and drunks in the park - did he know not to talk to them? I kept assuring myself he was too smart for any of that, but with every step I took my panic was rising. I was sure I would see him when I turned the last corner, but I didn't. I began to walk faster now hoping he'd be in the doughnut shop. I walked in, gave the place the once-over and turned white.

My mind was racing now. My heart began to pound the same way it did Coney Island years ago. Where could he be? What I would have to tell the police? What would I tell my wife? I was kicking myself for letting him go without his phone, but I kept trying to stay calm: Everything is going to turn out all right. I'll find him.

Just then my phone rang. It was someone from The Boiler. I was hoping that somehow my son had found his way there, but no - my piece had sprung a leak and there was water dripping all over the floor. Now I was really a mess. Not only was my son a missing person, but my art career was going down the tubes with him.

I ran to the gallery and asked if anyone had seen my son. No. I turned and took off for the L train two blocks away. He wasn't there either, so I turned and ran back toward the gallery when my cell phone rang again. This time it was the gallery. When I answered I heard my son's voice. He was there.

When I got to the door he was already standing outside. This time he was really scared. He gotten totally lost and never found his doughnut. We hugged. He told me that he had gotten so lost he cried. He told me how he tried to retrace his steps. I don't know how we missed each other or why but I was so relieved to see him I didn't care.

He told me that on his second pass by the gallery he had asked someone to call me. I told him I was proud of his decision making even though he had been so impatient at the beginning. I explained to him how difficult it was to give him directions before he left when he kept insisting he knew what he was doing. And I told him that I wouldn't want to keep all of this from his mother, but that I would leave it up to him to tell her.

Back at The Boiler, I emptied out the fish and the water and devised a plan to fix the piece later that night. My son never said a word and waited patiently for me to finish.

When I was done I asked him if he still wanted that doughnut. He said no. Maybe the getting lost thing took the good doughnut vibes away from him. But I insisted. We went to the shop and he had his doughnut while I had an iced tea and we relaxed for a few minutes. It was so nice to sit together at the counter while he ate.

That evening, when my wife came home, the first thing my son did was tell her about his getting lost. I left them and went back to fix my piece. Riding the train there I remember thinking that when we were kids we had no cell phones and got lost all the time. And I was thinking about my son and how glad I was he was safe at home with my wife, and that maybe somehow getting lost and then found was the best thing that ever could have happened. As much as I want my son to get out the door and feel good on his own, I am not in such a big rush for that to happen after all.

David Kramer, a New York-based artist, was awarded the 2012 EESI Prize at Cite Gallery in Angoulême, France. His work is included in two current group exhibitions: "13" at Mulherin and Pollard and "Double Dirty Dozen" at Freight and Volume Gallery, both in New York City.

Monday, June 25, 2012

LeRoy Neiman Dies at 91; Artist of Bold Life and Bright Canvases

I was sad to hear of the passing of LeRoy Neimam. I really was.
For me, in some ways, he was a big influence on my work. I was a kid back in the 1970's when Neiman seemed to be in his heyday; his work was ubiquitous. You would see his paintings in Sports Illustrated and see him painting them on TV during the Olympics and football games. And when I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on a Playboy back then, you would see them in there too.

I love, still, to splash around paint and to paint images over colorful backgrounds. I owe some of this enthusiasm to him. Sure I loved looking a Fauvist paintings and Post-Impressionists like Soutine
for inspiration, but for me Neiman was capturing subject matter that was loaded with meaning on a personal level....getting to paint Joe Namath and Ali and Playboy Bunnies was the stuff of pure fantasy to me.

Here is a funny story...the closest thing I have to a Neiman-story...
I have this friend whom I have known since I was in Junior High. One time I went to a Bris for his new born son. His dad was there and his dad was a big time lawyer, and he ran up to me, he wanted to tell me a funny tale. He was higher ed by these guys, they wanted Neiman to do a painting of Wayne Gretzky.
They were going to make a huge edition of prints and make a fortune, they hopped. My friend's dad told me that Neiman wanted a million to do the original and he wanted $500K up front. The contract said he would be paid the second half when it was finished.

They went into contract and paid the first installment, and the guys went about their business of raising the rest of the funds. Well, the lawyer told me, the next day Nieman calls up and says 'he's finished!' He wants the rest of his money.

The lawyer called his clients to ask about the $500K and they told him to stall Nieman. They still  needed some time to raise the funds. So my friend's dad tells me he goes down to Nieman's studio, and asks to look at the painting. Then he suggesting to  Nieman maybe he isn't finished yet..."Maybe the background could use a little work?" Well Nieman figured this all out pretty quick. According to my Friend's dad, Nieman said "...Get the fuck out of my studio, and get back here with my money, or I am keeping the god damn painting!"

A couple of days later Nieman got his check.

Hey LeRoy Nieman may never have gotten the critical acclaim that maybe he was ever after, but who cares. I always tell myself since then that even the best review ever in the New York Times will only get you so far...that and $2.50 will get you on the Subway in this town.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Rental

I have a new book on

Summer Rental: Recent Projects form 2012

It pulls together images writings from various projects
from the first half of this year.

Check out the link...

Monday, June 18, 2012

I have committed myself to becoming a better person this week. I had one of those nights where I went to sleep feeling angry at the world but woke up determined to make myself better and correct all of my faults. I am going to take advantage of what little time I have left on this planet. Hopefully another 20-30 years.

I have Jury Duty this morning and I am going to march right in there and tell them that I want out.
I am the primary care-giver to an under 16-year old child and I have the right to excuse myself from participating so I can be home on time to get my child off the bus, given a snack, and planted in front of the computer so I can take a nap and relax before the challenges of making dinner and entertaining small-talk with my busy wife when she gets home from her high-powered job.

I am going to take full advantage of my rights to excuse myself and I am going to use that time to my advantage. THis is the first day of the rest of my life and I promise not to drop the ball, this time.

David piece!!!

"What I Love Most" (oil on canvas) 2011, by David Kramer“What I Love Most” (oil on canvas) 2011, by David Kramer
I had my sense of humor back. All was right again with the world. I could live with my anxiety, as long as I had my vices to help me through.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Here is a print that was editioned this winter while I was a Special Editions Resident at the Lower Eastside Printshop in NYC. I had a great time there making this print and a bunch of beautiful collages. There was a show of all this work in Paris that came and went in March. I was super proud of myself during the opening watching all of the French people walking right up to each of my pieces and reading the series that were printed on each piece. What power to actually make French people read ENGLISH! and to seemingly enjoy reading each and every one. Anyway here is an image of one of the prints. Pretty fun stuff. Follow this link to see some great images from my show in Paris from March 2012 at Galerie Laurent Godin

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another view from American Exports....
Here are some more images from Amsterdam- Torch Gallery. After a great run in Europe over March and April... THE DOUBLE WHAMMY of Postpartum.... BUt it was worth it! David
And at Torch Gallery in Amsterdam, ...Next Year in Los Angeles. This show is up thru May!
American Exports- More images....
American Exports- EESI Cite Gallery, Angouleme, France