The greatness of America is a sham seemingly invulnerable to truth. But Kate Kretz is trying, and she will keep on trying, to expose it through #bullyculture, a monumental mixedmedia series she began thinking about in 2011 that shows no signs of stopping. If only it could. The series currently includes KKK hoods and face masks made from deconstructed MAGA hats; a monumental painting of a half-naked oligarch gripping his penis amidst the splendor of tacky destruction; photorealistic images of sports fans, corporate raiders, and rape burned into tree slices; and a bullet hole through glass, embroidered on black cotton using gray hairs donated by people who have suffered profound loss. Kretz was scheduled to exhibit the series at Jen Tough Gallery in Santa Fe this month, but the gallery has lost its brick and mortar space in the coronavirus fallout. The irony is that, as the world continues to fall to pieces, Kretz’s unapologetically critical and direct art feels all the more necessary. Empty shop windows, anyone? This is what ought to be on display, to help ensure that what has long since passed for greatness will never be allowed to do so again.
—Lori Waxman 2020-07-05 1:16 PM