Charles Krafft was an American painter and the bad boy of ceramic sculpture art. He was well-known for his series of natural and socio-political disasters painted on found china plates called Disasterware. In 1998, he was called "the dark angel of Seattle art" by the art critic of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In early 2013 it was revealed that he participated in white nationalist and Holocaust denial websites, which led to a re-evaluation of his artwork.
Charles Krafft was a self-taught painter based in Seattle, Washington USA. His work in the Delft ceramics tradition was inspired by his friendship with American motorcycle and hot rod hero Von Dutch. In the early 1990s, Krafft began a series of natural and socio-political disasters painted on found china plates called Disasterware™, with the logo designed by Von Dutch. In 1995, he traveled to war-ravaged Bosnia Herzegovina with the Slovenian industrial rock band Laibach. Moved by the plight of the besieged residents of Sarajevo, he returned to Central Europe and created an arsenal of Delft weaponry. The Porcelain War Museum Project premiered at the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Defense headquarters in Ljubljana in 2000 and has subsequently been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world.
Krafft’s primary technique involves slip-cast porcelain and earthenware forms fired at high temperatures. These sculptural objects are then meticulously hand-painted and glazed or decorated with ceramic transfer decals before a final firing. This process, based on Dutch delft and Italian majolica traditions, results in artworks that are at once alluring and grotesque – infused with fine craftsmanship and darkly humorous social commentary.
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