MFA Fine Art, 2018
Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California

BFA Studio Art, 2004
CSU East Bay, Hayward, California

BFA Graphic Arts, 2004
CSU East Bay, Hayward, California


2022 - Die Kunstkammer at Discover Torrance

2021 - Night Moves at the Bendix Building, Los Angeles 

2020 - Die Kunstammer at Adams Square Mini Park,
Glendale Libraries, Arts, and Culture, Glendale, CA

2020 Head-On Collision, LAST Projects, Los Angeles, California (4 artist show)

2020 This Thin Utopia, LAST Projects, Los Angeles, California (with Ernest Rosenthal)

2019 Window Dressing, Cerritos College Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2018 Cambiaformas, Fundación Sebastian, Mexico City, Mexico

2018 Ghost Prints II, Bolsky Gallery, Los Angeles, California

2017 Ghost Prints, LAST Projects, Los Angeles, California

2016 Excesstential Style, LAST Projects, Los Angeles, California (with Jonathan Johnson)

2015 Blue Moon, LAST Projects, Los Angeles, California (with Nora Keyes)

2012 Psycho-Specific Unearthings, NWC Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

2011 Tragedy and Automatism, SOIL Gallery, Seattle, Washington


2022 Loto Ball, La Zurda, Complejo Cultural Los Pinos, Mexico City

Holes, Cerritos College, Cerritos, California

2016 Mariana, Highways, Santa Monica, California

2016 Mariana, Electric Lodge, Venice, California

2016 Saturnine, Church of Fun, Los Angeles, California

2011 Loto Ball, MidPoint Music Festival, Cincinnati, Ohio

2010 Loto Ball, Drop Dead Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania

2009 Stupid Dans (1,10,5), i^3 Hypermedia, Chicago, Illinois

2005 Loto Ball, Drop Dead Festival, New York, New York

1997 Communication, Spaceland, Los Angeles, California

Awards, Residencies & Public Art

2018 Residency, Sebastian Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico

2017 Public Art, Interactive Mural, Cerritos College, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Study Grant, Anderson Ranch, Snowmass Village, Colorado

2011 Grant, VSA Grant for Kennedy Center Installation (with Arts of Life)

2011 Public Art,  Mural, Chase Park, Chicago (with Arts of Life)

2011 Grant, CAAP Grant, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

2009 Grant, CAAP Grant, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

2007 Public Art,  Mural, Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago (with Arts of Life)


Justice Arts Coalition “Inside & Out Exhibition Spotlight: Karim Shuquem, Lesley Rae Burdick, and Edee Allynnah”

Kemp, Audrey. Learning Blocks:
Karim Shuquem on ‘Die Kunstkammer’
”. Janky Smooth. November 7, 2020

“Meet Karim Shuquem of Graphic
Non-Violence”. L.A. Voyage. July 2020.

Hirug, Alexander.
“R.k. Shuquem”, Kolko Mag, Siberia, Russia, October 2015.

Petrusiak, Leah. “Saved by Rock 'n' Roll”, The Chicago Reader, Chicago, IL, vol. 41, number 6, November 2, 2011, pp. 10-16.

Nattsol, Pall. “Loto Ball: My Songs are Very Dream-Oriented”, Grave Jibes, St. Petersburg, RU. August 15, 2011.

Lynette Kalsnes, Interview, WBEZ Radio, Chicago, IL, July 27, 2010.

Weikel, Rebekah. “The Art and Music of Loto Ball”, Penny Ante, Los Angeles, CA. Summer 2009.

Skibra, Daniel. “Interview with Loto Ball”, Augenmusik, January 26, 2007

Lanthier, Lucas. “The Loto Ball Show Wild West Adventure Ride”, Drop Dead Magazine, New York, NY. Fall 2007.

Stockdale, Chad. “The Phantom Limb in the Wax Museum”, KDViations, Davis, CA. Winter, 2002.

Art is simply the act of making choices regarding things that have no practical purpose. I sometimes forget this myself and think that I’m doing something. and by ‘something’ I mean anything… but we can be forgetful when things are going ‘okay’.

When things are going along as expected, we can forget why we’re doing what we’re doing and what caused us to be doing what we’re doing to begin with. It was profound disgust that motivated me. It was depression stemming from disgust, dismay, and disappointment. I looked at the limited scope of the humans around me and what they spent their time doing and discussing and I was lost in hopelessness.

I was in bed in my early 20s for the entire day, this went on for months. Sense and sensibility destroyed me. The thing that brought me out of it was non-sense. I ran away and joined the circus, This is a true story. It was only through ridiculousness and comedy that I was able to emerge from my tragic bed. This is when I became an artist as I see it, in retrospect.  I had $40 in my pocket when I left. When that was gone, all I had was what I could get from performing.

I thirst for meaning though, in a very existentialist frame. The absurdity of Joseph Beuys painted gold holding a dead rabbit, walking with planks on his feet pulled me in. Learning more about him made me all the more intrigued. It is a breath of freedom that the break from ‘reason’ gives me. I then use a type of reason to apply some sort of meaning.

Language is arbitrary to begin with. Maybe Noam Chomsky with his linguistic brain should have been an art theorist rather than a political theorist. I wouldn’t change a thing about Chomsky gotta say, but it’s not a bad idea… to look at the teleological progression of modernism through a linguistic lens rather than a formal one?

My interest in language is related to an interest in structures or systems of understanding; the system, the frame, the stage; and how they determine our understanding. In removing barriers between art and life, does that make art a type of magic? When is art not magic? Does magic require a specific intention, does art require that? Or is the magic in the immersion in the process and your ability to immerse your viewer into the world you’ve created?

Language is arbitrary to begin with.. but then people begin to agree on what certain things mean and they then have a common system of signifiers.

Art is not simply the act of making choices regarding things that have no practical purpose. Art is the creation of new signifiers in the hope of discovering something that our current system of signifiers cannot express. Or perhaps the art is in creating a new system altogether.

When you look at it that way, art truly is a failure.  How much new meaning are we uncovering, what are we learning? Can we change the way we think? The circus and the art of clown taught me about failure. Failure is bitterly meaningful and totally hilarious. This fits my existentialist frame.

I found a book analyzing humor before my early twenties, before the weighty depression, before the circus. It detailed case studies of humorous incidents and analyzed them. The one story that stuck with me was of a group of people that went into a large jewelry store and dropped thousands of cubic zirconia diamonds all over the floor. Why was this funny? I don’t remember what the book said about that.

When things are going along as expected, we can forget why we’re doing what we’re doing and what caused us to be doing what we’re doing to begin with. Humor involves the unexpected, I think that’s probably what they said in that book.

So perhaps art is not creating anything new, but reminding us of things we have forgotten.

This statement is a failure as an artist statement (so far) as I haven’t spoken of my own work.. yet If I had to say, I would say in undergrad I had a type of symbolic magic realism going on. There’s always been a dose of expressionism in the stew too. I very much love drawing and am able to see it in linguistic terms.

Probably my magnum opus of drawings so far would be the four 6-foot tall ink drawings of my Elements series, created before I started graduate school. They are very symbolist interpretations of panopticon prison architecture; a type of framing that has an intention for a specific nefarious result.  

My other major artwork so far began during grad school, and is a shape-shifting assemblage of 100 wooden carved and painted boxes. I often use it as a way to discuss and think about my interest in process ontology, or an anti-materialist metaphysics. The system we use for understanding material reality determines how we treat the things of this world; Do we view things as inert, fixed, dead… or view them as living energy that is receptive and can affect and be affected by other things?

I am of the camp that believes that art is defined relative to its relationship with the viewer, and other things like the space the art is in and whatever else is around the art. I use this assemblage or sculpture as a way to highlight a relational and experiential approach for understanding art versus a media-specific formalist take. I am intentionally conflating the understanding of art with the understanding of material reality and dismantling the illusion of separation between these things.

I have a long career as a performer (mostly in the context of music). My interest in making connections is very much also related to a split I’ve had to contend with between the compartmentalization of the different parts of my individual practice. I’m not sure if I’ve figured it out yet and some of the art, as well as some of the framing has arrived from that struggle of trying to feel whole.

My works on paper created following the assemblage have also resulted from a focus of trying to find relationships that break down the limits of material. Most of them combine processes…some of them begin as prints pulled from 3-dimensional sculptures, and become flattened out on paper.

I would say I’m very interested in the idea of game now. There is a relationship to humor in there of course; In clowning we are always looking for the game. My more process-oriented perspective of the last 5 years has made me very conscious of thinking of the way I’m doing things and what that means.