Kajahl resurrects objects that lay dormant in historical archives, endlessly scouring and excavating books, online images, and museums to gather his source material. Kajahl then takes his findings and hybridizes entities into one grandiose figure or image. Although the characters he constructs belong to a multiplicity of time periods, locations, and cultures, their conflation foregrounds the forgotten past to reanimate minor artifacts of history in transformative assemblage. For Kajahl, painting is an arena to traverse different cultures and temporalities to challenge and confront previously held notions of identity and relation. Kajahl’s painting questions these boundaries by treating painting as a site of radical mixtures, overlooked histories, and speculative fiction. Open to chaos and complexity, Kajahl expands the periphery of current critical discourse to reimagine systemizations of power and memory.


Kajahl (b.1985, Santa Cruz, CA) lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA. Kajahl received his BFA from San Francisco State University (2008) and attended the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze, Italy (2007). He received his MFA from Hunter College, New York (2012). Currently, Kajahl is an Adjunct Faculty member at the New York Academy of Art. Kajahl has been in solo and group exhibitions at moniquemeloche, Chicago, IL; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA and Brussels, Belgium; Tillou Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY; 21c Museum Hotel, Chicago, IL; Super Duchess Gallery, New York, NY; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa, and Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora, Brooklyn, NY, among others. His work is in the permanent collections of The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY; 21C Museum Hotel, and the Dean Collection.