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Laura Krifka, Lions, 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 40 in.

Through intimate and carefully constructed figurative paintings artist Laura Krifka dissects the mechanisms of power, identity, and observation found in visual culture. With non-descript references to the history of painting, Krifka incorporates the contemporary frameworks of film and photography into her understanding of portraiture and psychology. By collapsing several views of the same pose, subject, space, and time into each painting Krifka creates scenes that appear deceptively simple, but are rife with distortions, puzzles, and physical impossibilities that make visual factuality tenuous and challenge a viewer’s perceptual abilities. 

Krifka directs each complex narrative as paintings unravel and reform slowly over months and even years. Protagonists inhabit claustrophobic, domestic spaces, sometimes gazing assertively out of their canvases, other times disappearing into the wallpaper, but always vulnerable. Krifka’s figures occupy various states of undress, preparation, or play, expressing an ease with intimacy and an acknowledgement that the act of looking is a central component of desire. The pleasure of observation is echoed in Krifka’s own words: “…our pleasures and perversions have been molded by the fictions that permeate our ubiquitous visual culture. That our most secret desires are partially formed by our codified, collective experiences is a source of endless fascination for me.”

Laura Krifka was born 1985 in Los Angeles, CA. She lives and works in San Luis Obispo, CA. Krifka received her MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2010 and her BFA from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo in 2008, following earlier studies at Newbold College in England and Avondale College in Australia. Krifka has exhibited her work at venues throughout Southern California including the Torrance Museum of Art, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, LA Louver, CB1 Gallery, and Beacon Arts in Inglewood, as well as at Zroboli Gallery in Chicago, BravinLee Programs in New York, and Vast Space Projects in Las Vegas. Krifka’s work has been featured in various publications including Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Santa Barbara News-Press, New American Paintings, and Artillery Magazine and her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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