DAVID KROVBLIT Shells
Lois Lambert Gallery presents “Shells”, a collection of photographs by artist David Krovblit. The images are a combination of decorative traditions upon the form of a hand grenade. These combinations of beautiful, traditional, humorous and deadly, highlight the contrast of two elements of existence: an egg, the origin of life and the grenade, a harbinger of death. While both concepts
can be of a serious nature, Krovblit’s combination creates a levity that makes the pieces engaging and approachable.
Krovblit’s three themes from the show are drawn from different cultures and time frames. The Fabergé Eggs of Imperial Russia, Japanese and Chinese Pottery, and commercial graphics from American advertising are utilized in creating a narrative of the long relationship between businesses and the machines of war. Powerful companies from these eras originally focused on art products for the masses later becoming companies that made “the weapons of mass destruction”.
David begins his discourse with these historical themes using the Fabergé eggs, decorative objects created for the wife of the Tsar of Russia. The Fabergé Egg became a symbol of the luxury and lavishness of the Russian Empire. After the fall of the empire, the nation was drawn into World War I. It was at this time that the Fabergé factory was called upon to create weapons for the war. It produced over six and a half million hand grenades throughout the duration of the war.
Krovblit’s “Bone China Grenades” were inspired by a story of World War II Japan. After being ravaged by many bombing campaigns, Japan was in ruins. At this point, the Japanese had run out of raw materials to manufacture weapons, because of this they created the Type 4 or “last ditch” grenade. This was a hand grenade with a fragmentation body made of terra cotta or porcelain materials, round-shaped with a rubber cover and a simple fuse. Kilns famous for the production of traditional Japanese pottery, such as Arita, Bizen and Seto were pressed into service.
David’s series “Exploit Grenades” is a tribute to Pop Art and Andy Warhol. This combination is a contemporary view of the previous concepts but with a more sinister feature. David believes these companies have ties to everything in the modern world usually helping perpetuate rather than alleviate the current discords, thereby continuing to play a role in the propagation of war.
David Krovblit studied Photography at Ryerson University. His career spans over a decade, working professionally as an advertising photographer, shooting many national and international brands and campaigns. In addition throughout his professional career he continued working on his art photography. Krovblit’s artwork has been featured in juried exhibitions and group shows in Canada and the United States. Krovblit’s photography has won several international awards.
JOHN NYBOER The Real Future: Dancers at The Lot, Los Angeles
“The Real Future: Dancers at The Lot, Los Angeles”, a series of photographs from artist photographer John Nyboer. This collection of photographs is an intimate look into “The Lot”, a vibrant underground dance community thriving in the parking lots and warehouses of downtown Los Angeles.
The idea for this series of photographs was born on November 8th 2016. As John Nyboer walked through the streets of downtown Los Angeles thinking about “the fear and ignorance that had prevailed
in the 2016 election”, Nyboer stumbled on this seemingly secret gathering in the heart of downtown. First he heard the bass thump of music and as he walked toward the sound he came across a group of dancers that were performing in the middle of an empty parking lot.
“I heard music and saw a group performing a dance routine in a parking lot, a synchronized body of movement and shadows beneath a harsh security light. I headed straight for the scene and saw a collective made up of people from everywhere. I knew immediately that this was a future worth representing. I asked the person next to me:
“What is this group up to?”
“Popping. It’s a popping class.”
“A dance class? Right here in the f****ing parking lot?”
When the dance ended Nyboer made his way to Slim, the leader
and teacher of the group. Slim Boogie is a professional dancer who performs around the world and is embedded in the recent cultural history of the breakdancing scene in Los Angeles. Slim started the group to build up the dance community here in LA. Unlike countries like Korea or France, which have full time paid dancers competing professionally, the US does not offer much support for dancers. These
meet-ups allow dancers from LA and all over the world to practice while away from home, meet other dancers, and hone their skill for free as professionals and beginners alike are welcomed in this circle of expression.
In the same welcoming spirit that the group shows new dancers, Slim welcomed Nyboer and allowed him to come into their private realm. Nyboer was so impressed by the diversity of the group, their positivity and open forum style, that he was compelled to document their work. “The Lot” represents what the future could look like if everyone lived according to the ethos of these dancers whom in his words “represent the best of humanity”.
Nyboer made the decision to photograph in natural light with out flash lighting to captivate the essence of the dance performances as opposed to a crisp well-lit photograph. By playing with the shutter speed, Nyboer managed to capture just the movements of the dancer, creating a ghost-like figure within a crowd. In the image “Mad”,
the photograph is bathed in a pink and orange hue caused by the difficulty of realizing true colors in the dimly lit parking lot. The faces
of the dancers in the background show how attentive they are. In their expressions you can see each critiquing while acknowledging the skill and creativity of each dancer. Nyboer wants people to imagine placing themselves in the middle of the dancers, to feel “the joy, courage, and community that drive this art form”.