Kajahl

Kajahl resurrects objects that are lying dormant in historical archives. He endlessly scours and sifts through books, online images, and visits museums to gather source material. He takes these finds from his excavations and hybridizes entities that eventually become grandiose figures. Although the characters he constructs belong to a multiplicity of time periods, locations, and cultures, they foreground the forgotten past and reanimate minor artifacts of history into what amounts to a transformative assemblage. For Kajahl, painting is a place where we can traverse different cultures and temporalities to challenge our ideas about how we see ourselves and others. His work questions the boundaries of identity by treating painting as a site where radical mixtures, overlooked history and speculative fiction come into play. His paintings take us to a time before race existed by opening to the chaos and complexity, expanding the periphery around how we perceive ourselves in the past and present day.

 

Kajahl was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. In the fall of 2008, he received a BFA from San Francisco State University and spent his final year studying at the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze, Italy. In the spring of 2012, he received his MFA from Hunter College in New York City. Currently, Kajahl is an Adjunct Faculty member at the New York Academy of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY, the 21C Museum, and the Dean Collection.