Larry Krone, “Crazy”
Larry Krone grew up in St. Louis, and though he now lives in the East Village, he’s still wild about country and western music. Indeed, two of the works in this show are based on the Willie Nelson classic, “Crazy.” But Krone doesn’t care about who the next Garth Brooks will be. Rather, he wants to fashion art out of the music that excited him as a youth. And while he may be star-struck you don’t have to be into the music to get it. Everyone understands what it means to be emotionally attached to a favorite old song.
The 30-year-old Krone is best known, perhaps, for his small “drawings” of song lyrics which are stitched into all kinds of materials – often with strands of his own hair. In “Love Is in the Air”, the words I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU are obsessively repeated across postcard images of big Texan skies. In another piece, Krone has used flaming red thread to thickly sew I KNOW THE CHANGE HAS DONE ME GOOD into a piece of cowhide stretched across a gallery wall; the phrase, which seems like it’s been branded, suggests something Krone desperately wants to believe. (Choosing such plaintive words, he often communicates a powerful sense of nervous longing.) As for the tearful ballad made famous by Patsy Kline, Krone “covers” it here with two patchwork quilts – one small, one large – that feature the title CRAZY stitched in Krone’s hair; the smaller work includes the artist’s fingernail-tiny signature threaded into the bottom-right corner.
Undying teenage fantasies being what they are, Krone will soon take his obsession with country into performance art: On the show’s closing night, he’ll be playing guitar and singing, using his work “Me in Mylar” as a backdrop. This flashy hanging of blue and red Mylar strips is cut into a silhouette of Krone wearing a cowboy hat. Like the entire show, the work has such a nice, do-it-yourself, “suburban cowboy” flair that you just might be willing to believe Krone is the real thing, if only for a moment.
Time Out NY, Nov. 30 – Dec. 7, 2000