Jakob Bokulich

 

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about

Jakob Bokulich (born 1974, Santa Cruz, CA) is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily as a painter. He has been exhibited and collected in California, Europe, and New York since 1992, with seven solo shows and over 20 group shows,. His work is in the collection of the Croatian Embassy in Paris, and he was awarded an Honorarium grant in 2018 by Burning Man for his 23 foot-tall kinetic sculpture, which was six years in the making and involved the work of over 100 volunteers.

 

With little formal training, Bokulich first began painting in oils after a house fire left his family homeless, and he stayed temporarily with a painter who inspired him to begin painting at 12 years old. His artistic career began young, at the age of 17. After a nearly sold-out show in Santa Cruz, he left on his own to Europe, painting and exhibiting his work in galleries and pop-up shows in Paris, Saint-Tropez, Chamonix, and Split, Croatia. At times living in art squats and on the streets, his experiences in Croatia between 1993-1995 during its war - as well as his exposure to the work of Joseph Beuys - eventually led him to eschew the gallery system and pursue the concept of “social sculpture”.

 

Taking a hiatus from painting, he explored how to make art both more accessible and socially relevant. He immersed himself in building art communities in San Francisco and Oakland, including the Artship, a 500-ft passenger/cargo ship built in 1934, which he worked to convert into an art center in Oakland. His piece Red-Blooded American gained notoriety in San Francisco, and with FIGHT he invited the audience to question the definition of art, competing in the Golden Gloves as a boxer (he won runner-up). He made a film as a conceptual art comedy, where he played Bob Ross attempting to make a drawing of Rauschenberg’s Erased DeKooning Drawing. He explored performance and ritual, eventually leading to film, which led him to spending time in Los Angeles as an actor and filmmaker in his pursuit of an accessible, multi-media art form. 

 

Bokulich moved to New York in 2015 and returned to painting, as well as kinetic sculpture. His work is informed by his experience in film, ritual, and meditation. Often autobiographical, his work investigates the contemporary human experience, pairing the analytical with the emotional, the structured with the intuitive. He views his paintings as a medium to reinforce seeing, in an era in which he feels the senses have become dulled.

Solo Exhibits

THIRTY SIX GALLERY Beacon, New York, 2020

ARTSHIP Oakland, 2003

LIGHT San Francisco, 2001

LE LION d'OR Chamonix, France, 1994

CROATIAN EMBASSY IN PARIS Paris, 1994

MICHAEL ANGELO GALLERY Santa Cruz, 1994

GALERIE DANS LE KIOSQUE FLOTTANT Paris, 1993

GALERIJA PORTA AUREA Split, Croatia, 1993

LAVOIR PUBLIC VASSEROT Saint-Tropez, France, 1993

 

Selected Group Exhibits

MICHELE MACK GALLERY New York, 2020

CHASE CONTEMPORARY New York, 2020

CHASE CONTEMPORARY New York, 2019

VAN DER PLAS GALLERY New York, 2019

HG CONTEMPORARY BROOKLYN New York, 2018

BURNING MAN Nevada, 2018

BURNING MAN Nevada, 2017

DREAM FACTORY Los Angeles, 2011

LIVE CULTURE STUDIO Los Angeles, 2010

BACKSPACE Portland, Oregon, 2004

START SOMA San Francisco, 2004

START SOMA San Francisco, 2003

VARNISH FINE ART San Francisco, 2003

LIMINAL GALLERY Oakland, 2003

BALAZO/MISSION BADLANDS GALLERY San Francisco, 2002

NEW COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA San Francisco, 2001

LIVE CULTURE (AT THE CREAMERY) Oakland, 2000

GALERIE SSOCAPI Paris, 1998

CRUCIBLE STEEL GALLERY San Francisco, 1998

MAMONE GALLERY San Francisco, 1997

TROJANOWSKA GALLERY San Francisco, 1994

DOM OMLADINE ART SQUAT Split, Croatia, 1994

GALERIE LE BRETON Paris, 1993

MICHAEL ANGELO GALLERY Santa Cruz, 1992

DANCING MAN GALLERY Santa Cruz, 1992

Forbes June 10th, 2020

LA Weekly Dec 27th, 2012

San Francisco Chronicle July 3rd, 2003

San Francisco Chronicle March 31st, 2002

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© 2020 Jakob Bokulich