ICA, Boston Exhibits Mexican Tattoo Artist, Dr. Lakra

The Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston is opening an exhibit next week featuring Mexican tattoo artist, Dr. Lakra.

Discover the playful and provocative works of this artist and accomplished tattooist.

Jerónimo López Ramírez, also known as Dr. Lakra, is an renowned tattoo artist who lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico. Under his pseudonym, loosely translating as “Dr. Delinquent,” he draws over vintage printed materials and found objects rather than skin, manipulating images of pin-up girls, 1940s Mexican businessmen, luchadores, and Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Referencing diverse body art traditions from Chicano, Maori, Thai, and Philippine cultures, Dr. Lakra layers spiders, skulls, crosses, serpents, and devils over these existing images. Playful, naughty, and often intentionally vulgar, his work challenges social norms by blurring cultural identities.

Dr. Lakra, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., will present works from a variety of series and a newly-commissioned mural.

Dr Lakra (Jeronimo Lopez Ramirez, born 1972, Mexico) is an artist and tattooist. Apart from tattooing, his art involves embellishing images and other found objects – for instance, dolls, old medical illustrations, and pictures in 1950s Mexican magazines – with macabre or tattoo-style designs.

He has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including Stolen Bike at the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York, Los Dos Amigos at MACO in Mexico, Pin Up at Tate Modern and Pierced Hearts and True Love at The Drawing Center in New York.

He is the son of the graphic artist Francisco Toledo.

In 2007, he co-produced the book ‘Los Dos Amigos’ with artist Abraham Cruzvillegas. In 2008 he participated in the “Goth: Reality of the Departed World” exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art, curated by Eriko Kimura.

His works are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum and the Walker Art Center.

The Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston
April 14 – September 6. 2010

The ICA is located at 100 Northern Avenue on Boston’s waterfront.

In The Boston Phoenix, Jim Sullivan asks, “You like images of 1950s pin-up girls, skulls, snakes, and spiders. Is there a theme to your work?”

Dr. Lakra responds, “I speak of ideas like sexuality or death or the implications that images like snakes carry in a Judeo-Christian culture. My primary theme could be something like primal urges. I like to play with stereotypes that are in people’s heads. If you add a bat, it makes everything seem sinister. Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with things that are out of the ordinary. The monstrous, the grotesque, in certain forms, questions the perfection of the “supreme creator.”

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