Sholem Kristalka’s a young artist I’ve been looking at a lot lately, not just because I like his work (I do, very much) but because I like the way he thinks. His artist’s statement is a lovely short thing, speaking succinctly about who he is and how his work transforms him:
I want to unpack who I am: what informs me artistically, socially, intellectually. But I want to do more than merely discover and unpack. I want to conflate and confuse my surroundings and my inspirations and my thoughts. I don’t want merely to elucidate them, I want to become them; I want to superimpose my mundane life onto the grand narratives of the lives that I have been taught about and read about.
That’s really beautiful, right?
So, in light of that statement, let’s look at one of his current projects, called Lurking. He’s simply reinterpreting his friends’ Facebook photos through the lens of his own hand. It sounds simple, as art always does, but what he’s actually doing is filtering, manipulating, changing stories inside the pictures, adding his own humane, delicate sensibility, imbuing these photos he’s recreating with his care for the people in the photography.
So I see it as an artifact of care towards the subject of another artifact. Sort of like an emotional photocopy. A lovely thing, showing us the power of care, of longing for our loved ones through their images, of our relationships with the objects we love.
If you like, Sholem’s stated that his pictures are for sale. He’s created some striking T-shirts for the Toronto GLBT Film and Video Festival as well, in flavors of Joe Dallesandro, Divine, or (horror of horrors) Joan Crawford.