Orange Coast College photography professor Richard Kraft was awarded the 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship Award for excelling at his work in art.
Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to those who have proved their creative ability in the arts. The award selects from a variety of artists to scientists, who have a noteworthy record of exhibition or performance in their art. A meticulous peer review process is administered for fellows to be chosen.
His multidisciplinary work includes a variety of inquiry and media. His inquiry subjects pop culture, history, language, and literature while he includes photography, film, drawings, performances and collages for his media. According to Kraft's website he states, “This diversity of interests and methods is united in acts of alteration and transformation of the everyday world, and in the exploration of simultaneity, multiplicity and indeterminacy.”
The inspiration behind his multidisciplinary work begins with a structured plan that ends up with a collaboration of mediums.
“Each project starts with a question or series of questions and I work with whatever medium seems most appropriate to explore that question. I hope that each project is unique and different from other things I’ve made,” Kraft said in an email.
Museums, galleries and universities have displayed his art through the years. Furthermore, Kraft has also exhibited his art in public spaces such as city streets and abandoned Air Force stations. Along with being a professor at OCC, Kraft is also an author and co-editor to several books:Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera; “It Is What It Is”: All the Cards Issued to Donald Trump;Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matter Worse); Marcel Broodthaers: My Ogre Book, Shadow Theater, Midnight; and Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats. His busy life has never stopped him from working in different fields in his life.
“I love teaching, and I love working in the studio. The two always inform each other. In other words, what I do in the studio feeds my work in the classroom and vice versa,” Kraft said.
Because the Guggenheim Fellowship also awards financial support to artists and scholars, Kraft plans to primarily focus on a suite of collage films titled “Psalms for the End of the World” through this endorsement.
“Each project I complete results in a different feeling. As I tend to have many projects going at once, I’m always back at work very quickly,” Kraft said. “The Guggenheim came as a wonderful surprise, and I’ve been very touched by the number of friends and colleagues who have reached out to congratulate me.”