DAVID KROVBLIT “Shells”
November 11th, 2017 – January 6th, 2018
SANTA MONICA, CA– 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.