artist / participant
With “For the Love of Gaud” (Damien’s Worst) a new series of sculptural works by Laura Kikauka debuts at gallery DNA. The new series mimics the recent piece “For the Love of God” by Damien Hirst – the human skull encrusted with diamonds, “the most expensive contemporary artwork.” Kikauka’s version takes on skulls of all forms, modified and encrusted with costume jewelry: gothic stoner pieces, talking radio, back scratcher, fridge magnet, ashtray, etc.
Kikauka’s body of work encompasses various mediums including site-specific installation, mixed media, electronic sculpture, drawing, photography, video, performance, music, text, and costume creations. In each installation, she establishes a highly specific visual (and often audio) language that blends the increasingly overlapping worlds of high and low art forms. In general, Kikauka’s “excessive aesthetic” is comparable to urban archaeology and addresses issues of consumer culture, and the question of good and bad taste. It also celebrates failure in a humorous and ironic manner.
Kikauka’s work is inspired and derived from decades of on-going collecting of found objects. Employing the formal strategy of meticulously sorting and organizing these objects, as well as modifying or transforming them. She then creates specifically themed and coded works that transform gallery and exhibition spaces into densely packed, highly detailed installations.
In parallel with the new sculpture series, she also presents an on-going series of gently modified thrift store paintings which have been enhanced with battery powered light emitting diodes and switches.
In the spirit of leveling the high and lows of contemporary culture, the new sculpture series offers something to suit the taste of every collector; large or small, each object becomes a pivotal conversation piece.
Laura Kikauka (b. 1963, Canada) lives and works at the Funny Farm, an on-going installation that embodies her interest in low class consumer culture, in Meanford, Ontario and Berlin. She has exhibited and performed internationally and divides her time between both studios. Kikauka has been represented in parallel with Kurt Schwitters’ “Merzbau” in venues such as Haus der Kunst, Munich; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, as well as other versions at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kunstverein Ulm, and the Power Plant, Toronto.
For the Love of Gaud (Damien’s Worst)