KAJAHL (b. 1985 in Santa Cruz, California). Lives and works in New York.
Through painting, KAJAHL resurrects objects that are lying dormant in historical archives. He endlessly scours and sifts through books, online images and visits museums in order to gather source material. KAJAHL 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.
KAJAHL's previous solo exhibitions include, "KAJAHL: Obscure Origins," Tillou Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY; and the University North Carolina Wilmington Arts Gallery, Wilmington, NC.
KAJAHL has exhibited his work in numerous group exhibitions, including In Context: Africans in America, Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, ZA; emerging; Visual Art and Music in a Post-Hip-Hop Era, MoCADA, Brooklyn, NY; 30 Americans; Next Generation, Contemporary Wing, Washington, DC; and The Black Portrait, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.
In 2013, KAJAHL was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors grant. In 2016, KAJAHL participated in the Joan Mitchell Center, Artist in Residence in New Orleans, LA, and the New Holland Residences, Studio Program, New York, NY.
KAJAHL received his BFA from San Francisco State University in the Fall of 2008, 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.
In addition, KAJAHL has traveled extensively throughout Western Europe, Central America and parts of Africa including Morocco, Ethiopia and Kenya in search of inspiration. His travels have been centered on direct work with the photographic archives of the Warburg Institute, Ethnological Museum of Xalapa, Mexico City and Berlin.
New work by Kajahl will be exhibited at Richard Heller Gallery's booth, D03, at Art Brussels April 25-28, 2019.
M.F.A in Painting, Hunter College, New York, NY
Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Florence, Italy
B.F.A in Painting, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Royal Specter, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL
Unearthed Entities, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Obscure Origins, Tillou Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY
University North Carolina Wilmington Arts Gallery, Wilmington, NC
Mining Memory, Lower Eastside Print Shop, New York, NY
A Romantic Comedy, Twentyfive Kent, Brooklyn, NY
Coherent Brussells, A Pearl Laser on Gothic Holodeck, Brussels, Belgium
Super Dutchess Gallery, Fortress of Solitude: A Dirty Hand Hologram for Umberto, New York, NY
Art Brussels, Richard Heller Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Expo Chicago, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Immersion, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
UNTITLED Art Fair, Richard Heller Gallery, Miami Beach, FL
Dallas Art Fair, Richard Heller Gallery, Dallas, TX
Respect, The Church of St Paul the Apostle, New York, NY
Beheaded, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
In Context: Africans in America, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, ZA
Beauty, The Church of St Paul the Apostle, New York, NY
No Commission Art Fair, Bronx, NY
Empiria, Superchief Gallery, New York, NY
MoCADA, emerging; Visual Art and Music in a Post-Hip- Hop Era, Brooklyn, NY
Strange Times, Novella Gallery, New York, NY
Hunter MFA Thesis Show, Times Square Building, Hunter MFA Building, New York, NY
Superheroes and Antiheroes, SUNY College at Old Westbury, NY
Voices of Home, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York, NY
30 Americans; Next Generation, Contemporary Wing, Washington, DC
The Black Portrait, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY
Newcity Art, A Fantastical Take on the Blackamoor: A Review of Kajahl at Monique Meloche, Dec 8.
Colossal, Subversive and Grandiose, Kajahlís Vivid Portraits Supplant Historical Narratives, Nov. 20.
Santa Monica Mirror, Unearthed Entities at Richard Heller, Nov. 1
Artillery, Richard Heller Gallery: Kajahl, Oct. 11
City Press South Africa, Portraits of Reinvention, Nov 1
Upper Playground, Provoking Portraiture by Kajahl Benes, Sep. 16
Juxtapoz, Kajahl Benes Parallel Histories, Aug. 25
Awards & Residencies
Joan Mitchell Center, Artist in Residence, New Orleans, LA
Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, New York, NY
RICHARD HELLER GALLERY phone: 310-453-9191 | email: email@example.com