Monday 13 May 2013

Kris Kuksi's Infernal Sculpture

Kuksi's sculptures are almost fractal like, with smaller and smaller levels of detail becoming evident as you get closer.

Kris Kuksi's a mad Missouri sculptor who's work would fit in with any worthwhile depiction of Hell; his disturbing sculptures mash together high art and kitsch to stunning effect. I just can't stop looking at The Damned things. If there's to be a cinematic Hell, he absolutely has to be on the design team. Best of all, there's a delightful satirical edge to these macabre, operatic tableaus, an irreverent glee, which I find irresistible. His impish, iconoclastic outlook has something in common with England's equally provocative Chapman Brothers.

Finding beauty in the grotesque is Kuksi's forte. As his website describes, each sculpture takes countless hours to complete, as hundreds or even thousands of separate elements have to be altered, treated, and then assembled. 

I am particularly fond of his church tanks. Why, oh why, didn't I think of those? I have tanks ghosted into the background of crowd scenes, but none with churches for turrets. Brilliant and hilarious, but the thought simply never occurred to me. 

Kuksi's Church Tank
I only wish I'd discovered his work earlier. It reminds me of the work of the Symbolists, who were obsessed with sex and death, and the art of Felicien Rops in particular.
Sentimental Initiation by Felicien Rops

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