Chris Kraus

Chris Kraus

Chris Kraus is a writer based in Los Angeles.


What artworks would you have/do you have in your drawing room?

There's a poster for Tif Sigfrids' first show at her Hollywood gallery, called Red TV/Blue TV by Albert Mertz.  Mertz was a Danish artist, well known in the 60s and 70s, whose work Tif has revived.  Also, a framed copy of the poem Robert Dewhurst wrote for my partner Philip Valdez and me on the occasion of our wedding in 2014. Over the fireplace, a large photo of an Antarctic iceberg by the late Dan Asher - hanging it there was supposed to be kind of a visual joke about global warming, but it just looks good in that place.  Hedi (El Kholti, of Semiotexte) used that picture as the cover image for  Eileen Myles' The Importance of Being Iceland.  And there's a Henry Taylor painting, on loan from Mark von Schlegell.   


What books would you read/are you reading in your drawing room?

Everything that arrives gets dumped on one of the tables, and sorted out later.  Right now I'm re-reading the galleys for Olivia Laing's novel CRUDO, because I’m interviewing her this week for The Paris Review. Also I'm reading Leonard Gardner's FAT CITY, an incredible novel, re-published by NYRB.  I was researching Stockton, CA for something I'm writing about the photographer Reynaldo Rivera, and liked the movie so much that I wanted to check out the book. 


What movies would you watch/are you watching in your drawing room?

No TV in the drawing room!  That's always the big decision when you move in somewhere, where to  put the TV.  It's the first time in a long time that I haven't had the TV in the drawing room (living room, really.) But, as above - I just watched FAT CITY twice, and now trying to do a watching-jag of lesser-known 'New Hollywood’ films from the early 1970s.  


What music would you listen to/are you listening to in your drawing room?

That's a sad question.  My hearing is really really bad, to the point that - even though I can understand  speech in tandem with lipreading - I can't hear music well enough to enjoy it anymore. Used to enjoy listening to music a lot - from noise rock to country & western to early music and various bands.


Who would you/do you invite into your drawing room?

Whoever wants to come over.  My time in LA is mostly for seeing friends, and meeting with people and collaborators, so people come over a lot, although it's kind of formal.  I've only moved back to this house 3 years ago, and it was never where I lived during the times when people would come over and stay for hours or days.  But one enjoyable thing has been hosting artists and writers I've met in Europe. Having someone stay while they're in LA is the best way to visit.