Rick Wolfryd, aka CHROMA, is a former art dealer, gallery owner and artist hailing from California. His latest artistic offering is a genre seemingly created by the artist and called “Alteration Art.” Alterations are created via a collaborative process between the artist and various Mexican Huichol artist and studios in his adopted home town of Mexico City.
According to the artist, his Alterations are, “Fresh engagements of fusion activity and not mindless appropriations.” He is intentionally driven (in a good way) to co-create art with cross cultural content and personal imagination in mind. He lovingly refers to these pieces as “glass beads on steroids.”
The Huichol are an Indigenous People of Mexico. While they are known as artisans, their beaded art is a relatively new innovation and is constructed using glass, plastic or metal beads pressed onto form covered in beeswax. Like all Huichol art, the bead work depicts the patterns and symbols found in the Huichol religion. Wolfryd’s Alterations assist the Huichol community and a portion of the proceeds of every sale are used to support the Huichol artists and bead artisans.
Huichol artisan (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Drawing from his time as an art dealer, the artist notes that he is drawn to the works of various renowned Contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Kaws, Banksy, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat. The three Alterations appearing in the July 22nd gallery auction are enhanced, beaded forms atop plastic mass-produced toys, two from the artist Kaws. Wolfryd enhances these commercial items with the handiwork and craftsmanship of the Huichol to transform the figures into something artistic, handmade and one of a kind.
KAWS at night (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Alterations in the July Auction include a completely beaded plastic bear (Lot 1215) “Care Bear,” a partially beaded “Dissected Man” (Lot 1216) enhanced with beading covering half of a KAWS Chinese toy titled “Companion Flayed,” and a mostly bead covered plastic figure (Lot 1217) “Pinocchio” atop a KAWS Chinese toy by the same name. The works are humorous, colorful, and highly collectible.
Lot 1215, Richard Wolfryd. "Care Bear," sculpture
Lot 1216, Richard Wolfryd. "Dissected Man," sculpture
Lot 1217, Richard Wolfryd. "Pinocchio," sculpture
For more information or to view the auction visit bid.alexcooper.com.
Director of Modern & Contemporary Art