Daniel A. Bruce and Kevin Lustik share a respect for folk art sensibilities, and the authenticity of those untaught traditions as responses to contemporary life. Within their distinct practices the artists each utilize elements of folk aesthetics as a vehicle for incisive observations on politics, semantics, consumerism, and queer histories. By understanding the integrity and value of folk art, as well as its remove from the academy and its often inflated constructs, Bruce and Lustik tread deftly between fine and intuitive art.
Lustik’s stitching and sewing incorporates utilitarian objects (beads, tiles, buttons) within occasionally humorous motifs including credit cards, emojis and cartography. The work evokes thoughts of safety and home, civic migration and the natural world’s fragility. Bruce’s varied techniques from woodturning to emerging technologies like 3D printing, elucidate commonalities between the typically marginalized spheres of folk art and gay culture; encompassing themes of religion, mythologies, superstition and masculinity.
Such sensitivities for creative acts made from beyond standardized museum pedigrees, lend Bruce and Lustik the distanced objectivity of informed craftsmen, while also endowing them with acute criticality and awareness, as they continue to work within the contemporary art system.