It is impossible to take in all the detail in Kris Kuksi’s work. The mixed media artist, who’s fans include Guillermo del Toro, has become known for his mind-blowingly detailed sculptures depicting scenes of the grotesque, fantasy and subversion.
Influenced by the distinct visual styles of Hieronymus Bosch, and the surrealism of Lovecraftian tradition, Kuksi has developed a loyal following for his demented art pieces, exhibiting them in over 100 galleries worldwide. Kris Kuksi garners recognition and acclaim for the intricate sculptures that result from his unique and meticulous technique. A process that requires countless hours to assemble, collect, manipulate, cut, and re-shape thousands of individual parts, finally uniting them into an orchestral-like seamless cohesion that defines the historical rise and fall of civilization and envisions the possible future of humanity. Each sculpture embodies the trademarks of his philosophy and practice, while serving as a testament to the multifaceted nature of perception – From timeless iconic references of Gods and Goddess, to challenging ideas of organized religion and morality, to the struggle to understand, and bend, the limits of mortality.
Kuksi grew up in Kansas, owing the lack of external stimilation in small town life to sparking his artistic creativity. In an interview with Boonika, he explained “We only had 3 TV channels to watch and Atari had barely just come out and my brother had a laser disc player, so if I wasn’t distracted with any of those things then I was drawing or running amuck outside imaging worlds within my head. There was s big squarish stack of hay bails outside the barn once that I imagined was a temple to the Gods and I roll played kingdoms and battles with Star Wars action figures around it.”
Combining his childhood toys, including lego, spaceships and castles, and with materials such as bricks from a dilapidated barn, Kris’s early influences become clear. He has retained many of the techniques he developed early in his life, assembling his complex sculptures with a range of found objects. Kris described the range of items in his pieces as “pre-fabricated, injection-molded, press-molded, mass-produced, kitschy, weird stuff all brought together in a very articulated way that involves imagination, skill, math, craftsmanship, paint, and lastly, magic.”
Among his celebrity fans is Guillermo del Toro, who described the artist as “A post-industrial Rococo master, Kris Kuksi obsessively arranges characters and architecture in asymmetric compositions with an exquisite sense of drama. Instead of stones and shells he uses screaming plastic soldiers, miniature engine blocks, towering spires and assorted debris to form his landscapes.
The political, spiritual and material conflict within these shrines is enacted under the calm gaze of remote deities and august statuary. Kuksi manages to evoke, at once, a sanctum and a mausoleum for our suffocated spirit.”
Kuksi’s work has been described as “mind-blowing, macabre and beautifully grotesque art that will taunt you by the sheer complexity of detail, leaving you even more baffled as you stare for hours at all the figurines that were smacked into coexistence.”
You can find out more at Kris Kuksi’s official website, and see more of these incredible pieces below.