Nobody Here | David Kruk
This exhibition will consider Mark Fisher’s concept of “lost futures” through the aesthetics of Vaporwave and Funko Pops. Artist David Kruk is interested in how anachronistic objects employ nostalgia through the remixing of cultural references to engage with consumer capitalism. The continual referencing of the past exemplifies contemporary society’s cultural stagnation and the erosion of collective imagination towards a radically transformative future.
This exhibition will consider Mark Fisher’s concept of “lost futures” through the aesthetics of Vaporwave and Funko Pops. I am interested in how these anachronistic objects utilize nostalgia through the remixing of cultural references to engage with consumer capitalism. According to Fisher, this continual referencing of the past exemplifies contemporary society’s cultural stagnation and the erosion of collective imagination towards a radically transformative future.
The sculptures in the exhibition are intended to push these anachronisms a bit further; to undergo a life cycle of adaptation and re-contextualization. I enjoy thinking about the ways in which something like Vaporwave can function as a critique of consumer culture, questioning capitalism’s impulse to commodify everything in sight, including our identities and memories. Vaporwave was born from the internet, and its aesthetic continues to be quite popular within online communities. These communities may often be collectors of pop culture paraphernalia: such as Funko Pops, which I’ve become interested in for their cultural symbolic value. Collecting Funko Pops can provide a source of aesthetic stability for some, while simultaneously operating as totems for coping with the realities of adulthood.
Conceptually within this exhibition, I wonder about the ideological trajectory from ritualistic idol to mass-produced fandom figurine, how capitalism influences our engagement with nostalgia, how the concept of a collectible operates within the spheres of the household to the museum, and how an art object may change over time through being digested through the body of consumerism.
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David Kruk (b. 1992) was born in Mountain View, California before moving to Aurora, Colorado at the age of five. He received his B.F.A. in Pottery at Colorado State University in Fort Collins (2017) and has completed a post-bacc and M.F.A. in Ceramics at Kent State University in Ohio (2022). David has participated in work-study and internship programs at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado; the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana; and has been a ceramics technical assistant for Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. David’s work has been exhibited in Luna Negra Magazine and at the Curfman and Hatton Galleries, Fort Collins, CO; Companion Gallery, Humboldt, TN; Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY; Malone Art Gallery, Canton, OH; Summit Art Space, Akron, OH; Payto Gallery, Kent, OH; and the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, OH. He currently lives Akron, Ohio. David is an adjunct teacher for Kent State University, ceramics instructor at the Quirk Cultural Center in Cuyahoga Falls and is a gallery liaison and exhibition assistant for the non-profit organization Curated Storefront based in Akron.
1- You Too Can Become A Hero Funko POP! | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, underglaze, acrylic paint, synthetic clay, OSB, acrylic sheet, dichroic film
2- Nobody Here | NFS
Video game flashed to custom Game Boy cartridge, Super Game Boy, Super Nintendo with controller, cathode-ray tube television, (various in-game assets provided by @Xenophero on itch.io)
3- Totem For Lost Futures | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, underglaze, gold luster, ceramic decal, acrylic paint
4- Transformed at Last | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, underglaze, gold luster, ceramic decals, photopolymer resin, spray paint, steel, plaster, epoxy, Arizona Green Tea can
5- Subsumption of Venus Funko POP! | NFS
Photopolymer resin, enamel paint, acrylic paint, wax metallic finish, nail polish, acrylic resin, spray paint, glass, cyanoacrylate
6- Fertility Idol Funko POP! | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, oxide wash, acrylic sheet, metal stand
7- Scouter | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, underglaze, gold luster, ceramic decals, steel, OSB, gold leaf, wood filler, epoxy, newspaper advertisements
8- Soul Prison | NFS
Ceramic, photopolymer resin, synthetic clay, epoxy, steel, spray paint, custom digital print on cotton t-shirt
9- Do You Understand? It’s All In Your Hands | NFS
Commercial ceramic tiles, underglaze, wood, spray paint, epoxy
10- Non-Place | NFS
2-minute endless cassette tape loop of modified Wii Shop Channel theme, cassette player
11- rosebud rosebud rosebud | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, gold luster, epoxy
12- Water Vessel | NFS
Ceramic, glaze, underglaze