Untangling The Art From The Artist

Feb 15 2013 @ 6:46pm

Jen Graves ponders the case of sculptor Charles Krafft, who Graves once praised as iconoclastic and satirical, but is now lending his voice to White Power podcasts:

In 2003, Krafft made a ceramic teapot in the shape of a bust of Hitler, with eerie holes for eyes. A Jewish collector named Sandy Besser, now dead, bought the Hitler teapot and added it to his overtly politically themed collection, which he later donated to FAMSF, where it went on display in 2007. Burgard wrote about it in a catalog as explicitly and clearly antifascist. “These blind-looking eyes also evoke associations with… the world turning a blind eye to the horrors of the Holocaust.” …

[Now] as an experiment, Burgard showed the Hitler teapot to a colleague who had never seen it before and the colleague agreed with Burgard’s original interpretation. What does it mean that when Krafft made this portrait of a demonized Hitler, he was actually beginning to spread the word that the demonization of Hitler has been greatly exaggerated?