Hello Lightning Tamers!
Free artist talk and presentation, followed by a Q&A moderated by Ani Mnatsakanyan, Curator of Engagement and Education at MONA.
Over the past 35 years Craig Kraft has gained international recognition in creating original works of art that advance the techniques he has developed while working with drawn neon lines and sculptural light volumes surrounding the figure. He has created indirectly lit negative body casts sited on buildings around the world and monumental outdoor rolled aluminum and neon sculptures. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
For the past 25 years, he has been a faculty member of the Smithsonian Institution Studio Arts Program, teaching neon light sculpture. His artwork has been featured in over 120 exhibits throughout the United States, with 17 being solo. He has also been a leader of the International Sculpture Conference twice, as well as invited to exhibit at The Busan Biennale Art Festival in South Korea and Hermandades Escultóricas in Merida Yucatan Mexico. His “Falling Man” ,‘95, a negative body cast lit with hidden neon tubing generating a holographic style image, is sited permanently on the facade of the cell theater in New York City. To explore the universal urge to connect through marking, Kraft has traveled to Europe, Indonesia and Africa to visit 26 ancient cave sites viewing, first hand, drawings, paintings, and etchings made by early homo sapiens from up to 40,000 BP. From these experiences, Kraft has created such pieces as “Ancient and Contemporary Symbols” a collection that includes “Infinite Spiral” and “Arrows Coming and Going”, using neon as a contemporary marking tool.
Kraft’s “Damaged Spirit of the African Elephant” is an 11ft x 8ft installation generated by 75 neon tubes made from vertical segments spaced 1 1⁄2 inches apart. This art piece highlights the horrific poaching contributing to their extinction.
Kraft Resides at 1239 Good Hope Rd SE, Washington, D.C. His work can be seen at his home gallery and studio, a historic building in Anacostia, DC.
Welcome to Taming Lightning, I'm Percy Echols II. I'm the creator and host of Taming Lightning, as well as the emerging plasma tech at Pittsburgh Glass Center, where I'm researching and developing a space to explore Plasma and Neon Light as an Artist Medium.