Statements / Discussion
My work considers our human condition, identity, and dehumanization. I think of questions of ability, agency, choice, control and how we relate to each other through structures.
Karim Shuquem began his artistic career as part of the Los Angeles DIY punk culture in the late 80’s in which he published zines, pressed records, and promoted shows. In the 90’s he performed with the situationist Cacophony Society, the industrial/punk group the Boy Scouts of Annihilation, and toured nationally with the pranksterist variety show Circus Redickuless. In 1999 Shuquem lived in Northern California and entered Cal State Hayward as a graphic design student. He fell in love with painting at this time and earned a BFA degree in Fine Art as well as a graphic design degree.
Coinciding with his time in school, Shuquem spent five years as frontman of death rock punk band The Phantom Limbs. Shuquem’s visceral expression of existential distress laced with black comedy, along with the hyper-charged and unusual compositions of keyboardist Stevenson Sedgwick helped earn his group the title “Best Local Band” (S.F. Bay Guardian 2003). After finishing his undergrad studies, and after 220 performances with The Phantom Limbs, including 3 U.S. tours and 2 European tours, Shuquem left the Bay Area to move to Chicago.
In Chicago from 2005 to 2012, Shuquem directed his own art gallery (Reversible Eye) and was artistic director for non-profit The Arts of Life, inc. He was a member of rambunctious circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza for five years until 2010 when he developed the musical/performance act Loto Ball and toured Europe with it.
In graduate school at Otis College, Los Angeles, Karim Shuquem is developing interrelated visual art and performance works. He exhibits art at LAST Projects gallery in Hollywood and performs at various venues including Highways and Electric Lodge.