Glenn Kaino was born 1972, Los Angeles, CA and lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a MFA in Visual Arts from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a BA in Studio Art University of California, Irvine (UCI). He’s represented by Honor Fraser, LA, and Kavi Gupta, Chicago. His work is in several prominent permanent collections including the Hammer Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, LACMA, and many others. He’s shown internationally in the US, Egypt, France, the Netherlands, and the UK. In 2013 he will represent the US in the 13th International Cairo Biennial, Cairo, Egypt.
Glenn Kaino is a rare gem in the art world. Along with being an artist who has participated in prestigious exhibitions, he was the CCO of Napster ( remember Napster?), the President and CEO of uber.com, a practiced magician and currently works as the Senior Vice President, Digital of Oprah Winfrey Network (whatever that entails). So he’s basically a tech startup guru/artist who is probably incredible at time management and has a fascination with illusion.
I don’t really care about those credentials in any formal way. I was interested in the work first, and upon researching his biography further found this surprising information, but I do feel that it does add some important context as to what his concerns are as an artist. Kaino is an artist who understands how information travels, leads to misinterpretations, mixes and becomes currency in our current age.
Kaino’s sculptural and mixed-media work blurs peripheries, combines forms, disintegrates understandings, and reshapes histories. Kaino is known for ‘kit-bashing’, in other words the process of taking model pieces for manufactured model sets and adding it to create new hybrid designs. He doesn’t literally do this in every piece, of course, but his aesthetic approaches echo this popular culture strategy. He’s basically known for model mash-ups–a similar process as canadian artist Kim Adams.
Kaino seems invested in re-rendering histories as if illustrated in a dystopic museum where some future archaeologist accidentally put things together that didn’t quite combine. This is done intentionally to point out how we understand histories, making it obvious that these clear packages of “what is known” are actually distinctly manufactured. His choice of materials, installation of work and research in each exhibition dare us to look back at how cultural identities have been manifested, and nod to the potential artifice of information.
– Rachel MacFarlane