Charles Krafft got a rather pointed birthday gift from the Seattle Stranger this week. Two actually. The very day after the Northwest artist's birthday my Google alert for his name went off. Charles Krafft was in the news again. Now, I've had Mr. K on Google alerts for a while. Since 2012, most of the news that has come out regarding Krafft and his work has been negative. Not to mention somewhat shoddily researched and occasionally seriously embellished. A glaring example would be the <i>Vice</i> interview that "upgrades" his side of the conversation with some choice epithets he never uttered during the actual conversation.
But who is going to stand up and support a "known White Nationalist and Holocaust denier." The fearless Feral House publishing house's equally fearless publisher and founder, <a href="http://feralhouse.com/the-seattle-blow-up-against-charlie-krafft/">Adam Parfrey was willing to</a>, but for most, the scandal was too great to risk.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Seattle's "Nazi Ceramicist" Charles Krafft Is in the News Again - Slog - The Stranger <a href="https://t.co/xvMcLipglZ">https://t.co/xvMcLipglZ</a></p>— Eugene Antifa (@eugeneantifa) <a href="https://twitter.com/eugeneantifa/status/911485205843718144">September 23, 2017</a></blockquote>
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In an interview from about the time the <i>Stranger</i> affair snowballed into smear pieces at the <i>New Yorker</i>, <i>NPR</i>, <i>The Guardian</i> and others, Krafft lamented: "They've blown me up." After enjoying a bit of success as a cult favorite in the Unpop Art movement and the Street Art world, Krafft found himself a <i>persona non grata</i> overnight, not only in many professional and social circles but even amongst long time close friends and family.
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A mixture of quote mining and skillful post-production led to an expose in the Seattle Stranger 4 years ago that kicked off a whole host of troubles for the potter, painter and Journeyman delft artist. Krafft's work is exemplified by his trademark black humor and his subversive subtextual commentary. When NPR asked him if his Hitler teapot (featuring the German dictator's piercinng stare, spout and handle forming devil horns and teapot lid as yarmulkeh) was meant as an "homage" Krafft's frank, if bewildered response was simply: "If you look at the thing, it's just goofy."
"Just goofy" is a great explanation of tempest over some teapots that has affected Krafft for the past several years.
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Krafft was mentored directly by the fine artist and "Northwest Mystic" painter Morris Graves as well as the father of Kustom Kar Kulture and prophet of the modern "street art" movement, Von Dutch. In fact, it was most likely Krafft's shrine to the Buddhist visionary artist Morris Graves that inspired the undercover alt-right informant from the UK's Hope not Hate to describe Krafft's home as a "shrine to National Socialism."
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<h4><strong>Well, really more of a shrine to Morris Graves, but Graves was a Buddhist so there IS a swastika on it</h4></strong>
Fair warning, Krafft is a self-described white nationalist. This does not, however, make him a Nazi or a racist. Krafft, like Jewish political commentator and Holocaust revisionist David Cole Stein, questions some of the accepted history of the Holocaust, but does not deny the existence of concentration camps and deaths. Like Jewish Professor Norman Finkelstein, Krafft suggests that the Holocaust is used as a smokescreen to protect the Zionist state of Israel from any outside criticism. Invoking the near genocide of millions of Jewish people, it seems, justifies any present apartheid and genocidal actions against the Palestinians.
The New York Times expose mentions Charles Krafft's copy of Mein Kampf on the bookshelf. When I shared the Stranger piece that features that quote Charles noted he doesn't even <i>own</i> a copy of <i>Mein Kampf</i> unless you count a porcelain Buddha he repurposed, painting on Ghandhi glasses and a tongue-in-cheek reference to the infamous autobiography of Adolph Hitler.
<img src="https://8ch.net/file_store/8963d6f113390c5ac1689d15b4bfa012b90203ce0ee1a77505a1f4ee0f0381f7.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:480px;">
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<h4><strong>Not one but TWO copies of Mein Kampf!</h4></strong>
As for "shrines" the only shrine in Charles' house is the shrine to his mentor the non-interventionist bohemian prototype of the Hippies who dropped out of society to practice Buddhism in the woods of the Northwest. Charles Krafft is the Grand Polmarch of the Mystic Sons of Morris Graves, a semi-secret fraternal artist's society dedicated to preserving the lineage of Morris and the Northwest Mystics. The shrine to Graves prominently features a swastika because of the symbol's importance to Buddhist practice. Charles himself has been practicing Vedanta and Tantric Buddhism for decades now.
<blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"> <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BZPsopTD-ck/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_blank">Birthday party</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by Charles Krafft (@villadelirium) on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-09-20T01:59:44+00:00">Sep 19, 2017 at 6:59pm PDT</time></p></div></blockquote>
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Since the initial "outing" of Charles Krafft the trials and troubles have not ceased. From Antifa threats blocking gallery openings to his work being either removed from galleries or appended with "warning" messages, Krafft has sparked a debate in the art world about the importance of protecting against "wrongthink." Krafft, in an interview with Britain's <i>Mjolnir magazine</i> described himself as a "memory hole miner" who attempts to preserve the memory and works of artists who opposed the trend towards socialism and postmodernism and paid the price.
We here at the Goldwater pride ourselves upon being a bastion of free speech. As such, we wish Mr. Krafft a happy belated birthday and offer our prayers that Krafft himself escapes the memory hole despite being blacklisted for the crime of exercising individual thought and of critical thinking. You can check out Charles Krafft's work <a href="http://www.charleskrafft.com/ at his website.</a>