Fine Art with a Needle
Dr. Lakra has traveled from California to Thailand to the Philippines to work with artists still practicing traditional tattooing techniques. His irreverent works explore the tensions between social structures and innate desires, the group and the individual, sacred and secular. Juxtapositions of sex and death, old and new abound, as grotesque creatures encircle seductive women and society figures bear the symbols of fierce modern-day gangs. Even the artist’s pseudonym, inspired by his habit of carrying tattoo equipment in a black doctor’s bag, is a clash of opposites: lakra, a Spanish colloquialism meaning delinquent, follows a title that commands respect.
“I see my work, my tattoo work and other formats, as a mixture of different iconographies from different cultures and places,” says Dr. Lakra. “I’m always trying to deal with this basic primal urge. Primitive instincts like sex, violence, graffiti, are all innate [to] human beings and not tied to one culture.”
Artist bio: Born in Mexico in 1972, Jerónimo López Ramírez signs his work as Dr. Lakra, which loosely translates as Dr. Delinquent” He is the son of the Mexican-born painter, Francisco Toledo. Dr. Lakra studied with Gabriel Orozco in the late 1980s as part of a weekly workshop that also included Damian Ortega, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Gabriel Kuri. The artist’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum and the Walker Art Center, and has been featured in exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London (2005), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2007), among others. Dr. Lakra lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico.
It is Converse’s continued goal to be a catalyst for creativity, support the arts and whenever possible do so in our backyard, Boston, Massachusetts. With this in mind we were proud to be the presenting sponsor of Dr. Lakra at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, April 14th – September 6th, 2010.