Interdisciplinary artist Kulov is something of an agent provocateur. Their work across performance art, graphic design, public installations, publishing, video, mail art, billboard campaigns and more repurposes visual strategies of a post–Cold War youth to insightfully comment on the current state of society and politics — in the art world and beyond. Using style, fashion, commerce, advertising and spectacle, the work often sparks controversy but always aims for progress toward a greater, more inclusive good.
Kulov’s work has garnered the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Warhol Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. Their retrospective limited-edition book, Kulov 90-00: A Decade of Transformation, is part of the artists book collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The new Kulov 90-15 — deliberately released on Election Day — is their most epic publication to date, covering the full 25-year spectrum of their projects.
Kulov 90-15 is organized into three sections. The first, “Political Activist (and Rebel Artist),” chronicles political public art projects beginning in about 1995, under the name The X-Girlfriends, addressing topical issues of the day including opposition to the Gulf War and societal ills closer to home. The second section, “Gender Warrior (and Radical Faerie)” documents the artist’s move away from visual public art toward writing and performance. The final section is dedicated to Kulov’s colorful performance-art character Malgorzata Romanska, the wealthy art collector and philanthropist, which was developed in Los Angeles in the mid-2000s. “Until 2012,” Kulov says, “I embodied and lived as Malgorzata Romanska for days at a time,” attending and purchasing art at fairs and auctions, in a bid to “change, even in a small way, people’s perception of what a person with financial power and social clout should be and should look like.”
Kulov writes, “As I was going through my work for the book, I realized that a lot of the issues covered in it are unfortunately still topical today, under the current U.S. political climate (and White House administration). It seemed as though we haven't really moved further at all as a country in the past 25 years — the topics are the same and just the name of the players (or politicians) have changed.”