The Artwork of Laura Krifka
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1985, Laura Krifka is an American artist whose carefully constructed and intimate figurative work dissects the workings of power, observation and identity in contemporary visual culture. After initial studies at Newbold College in England and Avondale College in Australia, Krifka earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, in 2008. She continued her studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her Master of Arts in 2010.
Laura Krifka incorporates the techniques of contemporary film and photography framing into her work, as well as visual references to historical art images. She often collapses several views of the same subject, space or pose into a painting which, appearing deceptively simple, actually contains challenging puzzles, distortions, and physical impossibilities. The pleasure of observation is a recurring theme in Krifka’s work. Vulnerable figures inhabit domestic spaces in various states of preparation, undress, and play. They either gaze out of their canvases or are observed gazing at a central form of desire.
The complex compositions of Krifka’s paintings require a great deal of planning; their style reflects some of the classical principles of the early nineteenth-century Neoclassicists. Krifka, however, does not limit herself to prescribed conventions or conformity. Ignoring customary gender boundaries, she bends and adapts the roles of both male and female in her work. Krifka instills in her figures a deliberate degree of gender ambiguity that manipulates the narrative and raises the psychological component.
In 2015, Laura Krifka showed her work at a solo exhibition entitled “Reap the Wind” held at the CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles. Her multi-faceted work, which included recent paintings, sculpture, film and video, examined human behavior and psychology, death, violence and sexuality. In addition to her own allegorical world, Krifka weaved mythological and historical references into her theatrical and sometimes lurid dramatic scenes. These scenes, expressed through a classical lexicon, made voyeurs of the viewers, witnesses to sometimes secret romances, murders or other transgressions.
Krifka’s work has appeared in many southern California exhibition spaces, among which are the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, the Torrance Museum of Art, the Louver at Los Angeles, and Beacon Arts in Inglewood. Her work has also been shown at the Zroboli Gallery of Chicago, the BravinLee Programs in New York and Las Vegas’s VastSpaceProjects, among others.
Krifka’s work is housed in the permanent collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the Santa Barbara campus of the University of California, the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection of Palm Beach, and the Pizzuti Collection in Columbus, Ohio.
For the 2018-2019 academic year, Laura Krifka was a member of the studio art concentration faculty of the Art and Design Department at California Polytechnic State University. She is represented by the contemporary art gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Krifka’s website, containing images and contact information, can be found at: https://www.laurakrifka.com
Second Insert Image: Laura Krifka, “Pink Peep”, 2019, Oil on Panel, 116.8 x 76.2 cm
Bottom Insert Image: Laura Krifka, “Sour Grape”, 2017, Oil on Canvas, 101.6 x 60.1 cm