Friday, April 1, 2011

The Drawing Center - Dr. Larka

The Drawing Center exists as an aid to the connection of art with its ancestors. The space’s hard wood flooring and central Romanesque columns create a room that feels much more monumental then is possible for Wooster Street. This meditative center lowers your voice and dilates your pupils to best observe of the delicate work of pencil and ink on paper.

The artists exhibited have chosen a powerful medium requiring an academic technique that unites all great craftsmen of art’s past. In a city that promotes success through electrical plugs and sockets, the drawing center has anchored itself in art’s infancy, when pencil, ink, paper and the instinctual talent of an individual were the only required tools.

The Drawing Center is the perfect place for Mexican artist Dr. Larka to debut his raw, impulsive work to New York. The work explores the inter-stirrings of humanity’s primal urges. He then manifests these impulses as ink drawings similar in style to traditional tattooing and early cartooning. The sketchy, unpolished work is assisted by the medium allowing it to hang as a complete thought. The ink and tracing paper allow Dr. Larka to record his visions more accurately then one might assume when looking at the crowded collage of faces and bodies. The quick movements of the arm and trusting use of black ink and white paper utilized by Dr. Larka are translated poetically as an unedited stream of consciousness for the viewer to pore over. Each drawn object offering itself as a piece of another object makes these compositions puzzling, however, the final map of Dr. Larka’s channeled impulses offers the viewer something to connect and converse with. Sketch 6, immediately grasping because of the wide exposing mouth and woman whose breasts are deserving of a permanent spot on any sailor’s body, when closely indulged reveals a spectrum of emotions that are gently drawn but heavily felt. The work is held in balance by the duality of a soft medium and a rich subject matter.

When visiting the Drawing Center and observing the visual expressions of artist, Dr. Larka, it is important to digest the experience slowly and fully. What might appear as elementary and expired is in fact crucial to the New York art circuit, which surges with a constant desire to evolve using all the new media one can imagine.


  1. The opening part about the gallery, and the experience of being there, should maybe a litter more tied to what impact it has on Dr Lanka’s work. Do you mean that this serious and profound space gives more importance or dignity to an elementary kind of aesthetics? If the part about the gallery space does not directly relate to the exhibition it can seem a little of the subject.
    You are also contrasting his work with the rest of New York’s art scene…The first time you write “In the city that promotes success through electrical plugs and sockets”, we don’t know which city you are impaling. Also, is New York´s whole art scene a not more diverse then that? You would have a stronger argument if you contrast Dr Lanka’s work to something a little more specific.

  2. Feels like two separate reviews. I agree with Anna. Try to make the first two paragraphs flow better with the last two. I think you should focus on Dr. Larka in context with the DC and less on the DC as it’s own entity.

    I think the content that you did described, was done accurately but you left out the impact/gasp factor the show has on viewers who may not be used to or comfortable viewing this type of content. Also, the wall mural should be talked about as I think it was one of the focal points. Dr. Larka’s Mexican heritage, like the Day of the Dead, is also an element in the content that I personally noticed in his work, so try to incorporate that as well.

    Overall, I thought the descriptive elements were well written.