Art May, 7 2010

Charles Krafft & Mike Leavitt – “Pitchfork Pals”

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Artists Charles Krafft and Mike Leavitt get together for a show at Stolen Space Gallery in London, entitled “Pitchfork Pals”. We have always been fans of the ceramic works by Charles Krafft and cannot wait to see what the two have cooked up together. The “Winehouse” piece here above is already a good start.

“Charles Krafft & Mike Leavitt’s ‘Pitchfork Pals’ bombard London with the best of Seattle’s post-grunge visual art culture. A variety of handcrafted items transform StolenSpace Gallery into a sinister souvenir shop with dictator teapots, life-size human bone china shovels, cardboard tennis shoes and artist action figures. A sampling of individual projects frames the debut of this dynamic duo’s ‘Pitchfork Pals’ ceramic collaborations.

‘Pitchfork Pals’ spawn from an ongoing dialogue between two artists separated by 30 years of age who share a mission for art alternatives. Since 2005 the two Seattle natives have formed a series of media icons, politicians and celebrities such as Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Aleister Crowley, Nick Griffin and Amy Winehouse. Leavitt sculpts these busts 20 to 30 cm tall, then each edition is slip-cast and hand-painted by Krafft in his basement. Some become classic busts, teapots or the British “Toby mug” knick-knack. Taking pride in their handiwork, these two iconoclastic craftsmen are not armchair critics. The artists’ politics range widely, so their meditation on manufactured evil is not easily digestible. Looking into the deeply carved pupils of a ‘Pitchfork Pal’ conjures biographical depths underneath easy editorializing. Totemic power and sculptural nuance make these tainted characters undeniably mesmerizing”

Charles Krafft & Mike Leavitt
‘Pitchfork Pals’
14.05.10 – 30.05.10

Another look at the artwork here above follows after the jump.

Charles Krafft & Mike Leavitt   Pitchfork Pals