I took a trip up to Boston yesterday morning to visit the Dr. Lakra exhibit at the ICA. The show is only up for another week, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t get in to see it sooner because I’d like to experience it again. As it turns out, I’m really taken with Dr. Lakra’s work.
Dr. Lakra is a Mexican born tattoo and fine artist based out of Oaxaca. Dr. Lakra transposes his tattooing craft onto the idealized figures found in vintage 1950’s magazines, onto pinup girls, luchadors, medical educational drawings, and even onto the iconic cupie doll. Lakra reassigns identity by tattooing and enhancing the original subjects with bats, demons, spiders, gang insignia, and traditional cultural body markings. He even uses a real tattoo machine to achieve a believable image on some of his pieces.
Dr. Lakra deals with concepts of beautification and social identification. His works are a carnival of the grotesque, a medley of kitschy erotica, ancient ritual, and hallucinogenic visions fused in a collage of ideologies.
This show was a slightly unbalanced combination of 2D and 3D work, with most of the emphasis being on drawings and installations. I would have personally preferred to see some more objects included in the exhibition, as those objects reflected his working process more directly.
UPDATE~ Here are two images that I took of the installation at the ICA. I used my phone, so the quality is most likely sub-par. Also, you can check out a video of the installation here.