THE PANIK COLLECTIVE is a team of credentialed painters, sculptors, musicians, mathematicians & curators dividing time among multiple exhibition projects and public actions.
As such their chosen medium changes to best accommodate the message, which thus far has ranged from academic (Chicken Heart, a photographic and video piece produced for but ultimately censored from presentation at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana) to aloof (Marina Abramovic is Not Barbara Kruger produced on beer coasters). While these venues and projects are quite varied, and the mediums very different (silver gelatin photographs, audio and video manipulation, and dot matrix printing on found objects), themes of sexual and gender politics overlap, making it difficult to determine if there is an intentional subversion inherent to the collective’s manifesto (if there is one).
We discovered them at the L.A. Art Show, where an ad hoc exhibition popped-up on the fair's third day, with little more contact info than this website address and a telephone number. Since their latest project seems fairly grounded in pop, we sought a statement of intent. With very little contact info available, and owing to the nature of the collective’s self-imposed anonymity, this was no easy task. But we were able to track them down on the new social media platform, Ello. We spoke with Panik MK, who seems to be their defacto leader. He explained that THE PANIK COLLECTIVE hails from several countries, with members from China, Japan and the United States. Between the various members, whose names all begin with “Panik” followed by a series of initials, there is an M.Arch from SCI-Arc, a BFA from Art Center, and several years of “stealth education” at Emerson College, UCLA, Cal Arts, and Boston University.
Panik MK admits that most of the projects (in fact, all thus far) have been his concepts, produced in partnership with other members named Panik AK, Panik MZ, and Panik D. Other members serve administrative rolls, and at least one other member is co-plotting a “mathematic exhibition.”
The current PANIK COLLECTIVE project is tentatively titled HIGH FIDELITY, which is part of an exhibition that is set to open at iMOCA in October 2015. The bulk of the works are large-scale oil-on-canvas paintings, but we’ve seen at least one ceramic image, a series of album-sized monographs, and heard rumors of a video piece that may or may not be included. The imagery reflects the pop culture of Panik MK’s youth, while advancing the current trend toward lowbrow acceptance.