Kris Kuksi Auto-Cephalic Supplicating Vehicle, full view

Dimensions:
13,5" x 25,5" x 37,5"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2009

Kris Kuksi Auto-Cephalic Supplicating Vehicle, detail

Dimensions:
13,5" x 25,5" x 37,5"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2009

Kris Kuksi An Opera for the Apocalypse, full view

Dimensions:
44" x 23" x 9"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2009

Kris Kuksi An Opera for the Apocalypse, detail

Dimensions:
44" x 23" x 9"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2009

Kris Kuksi Oedipus in Contemplation, full view

Dimensions:
19,5" x 26" x 11"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi Oedipus in Contemplation, detail

Dimensions:
19,5" x 26" x 11"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi Eden, full view

Dimensions:
30,5" x 35" x 7"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi Eden, detail

Dimensions:
30,5" x 35" x 7"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi A Neo-Roman Landscape, full view

Dimensions:
47" x 37" x 15"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi A Neo-Roman Landscape, detail

Dimensions:
47" x 37" x 15"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2010

Kris Kuksi Ode to Herculaneum, full view

Dimensions:
17,5" x 22" x 6,5"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2011

Kris Kuksi Ode to Herculaneum, detail

Dimensions:
17,5" x 22" x 6,5"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2011

Kris Kuksi The Surrender of Helios, full view

Dimensions:
32" x 27" x 8"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2011

Kris Kuksi The Surrender of Helios, detail

Dimensions:
32" x 27" x 8"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2011

Kris Kuksi Andromeda

Dimensions:
26" x 24" x 9"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2011

Kris Kuksi Capricorn Rising, full view

Dimensions:
72" x 80" x 30"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2012

Kris Kuksi Capricorn Rising, detail

Dimensions:
72" x 80" x 30"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2012

Kris Kuksi Triumph, full view

Dimensions:
78" x 110" x 30"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2012

Kris Kuksi Triumph, detail

Dimensions:
78" x 110" x 30"

Description:
Mixed media assemblage. Image © Kris Kuksi. Used here by kind permission from the artist. All rights reserved.

Created:
2012

Menu

Kris Kuksi
The Dark and the Aura

The art of Kris Kuksi is an art of oppositions: the Baroque and the Rococo, the organic and the mechanical, mythology and the industrial. The rigidity of machinery enters a vibrant dialogue with the body to tell the evolutionary story of mankind and the architectonics of its environment.

Kris Kuksi has described his sculptural works as being “wonderfully intricate constructions of pop culture effluvia like plastic model kits, injection molded toys, dolls, plastic skulls, knick-knack figurines, miniature fencing, toy animals, mechanical parts and ornate frames or furniture parts; assembled into grotesque tableaux that look a bit like an explosion in Hieronymus Bosch’s attic.” [1] It is an art expressing battles of power and creation, destruction and the cycle of life, seen through the inner aggression of men and gods alike. In it, time is a motif describing movement and potentiality, yet it is forced into a stillness, a cold gaze and a shattering silence.

Death is objectively embodied to symbolize the merciless fear of a consciousness acknowledging its frivolous and fragile state when facing its own nature. Greed and materialism – which Kuksi identifies as being the driving forces for mankind today [2] – are exposed to unveil the fallacies of Man and “a new level of awareness to the viewer”, not only in resonance with the times but also in resonance with our deepest nature, our deepest fears, and the dread of individual loss. His art could be defined as a neo-classical sculptural assemblage where idealistic fantasies meet the dark ruminations of our civilization to question the founding mythologies and moralities of society. Industrial elements such as pipes, wires, and refineries meet mechanical elements and plastic skulls or figurines to describe asymmetric compositions and multi-layered scenes of ruinous natures. Obsolete technologies and humanity meet their own history in war-weary landscapes of dramatic kind where material, political and spiritual conflicts rise only to meet their fall. Yet the darkest scenes create auras of unearthly beauty and the preoccupation with death restores a sense of the cyclical nature of life in which death is beginning and an end, a fear and an aim to fulfill our own destiny.

While retaining a rhetoric of transcendence and spirituality, Kris Kuksi’s art aims to displace the experience of spirituality and enter the realm of individual feelings to bring a sense of otherworldly presence to contemporary man and to restore former sensuality.

Sabin Bors

The sensory overload of the mechanical describes here time, rhythm, cycle but also technology or progress; and in doing so, it attempts to transport the viewer to a state of universal consciousness and enlightenment, with art, tradition and spirituality being all subjected to the irreversible process of change and the passing of history.

The dark is the aura. It is not only a metaphor for art, but a redemptive function revitalizing a sense of ethical, not moral urgency. Eras past now return to avenge their own history and to describe polarities representative of the conflicts that continue to infuse human existence. The hybrid depictions of mythologies fulfill the political need of a resistance to colonial or hybrid contemporary intrusions, celebrating counter-constructions reclaiming history on a most individual level. There is ritual in the art of Kris Kuksi, and it suggests the historic and contemporary immixture of religion and politics to explore and venture beyond the boundaries of matter or spirit. The artist’s assemblages seem to “conjure” the forces regardless of their malevolent or benevolent purposes, in order to highlight the tensions between the realms of the material and the immaterial. Temptation, distraction and desire make reference to the opposing forces of body and spirit that, in Western tradition in particular, describe the struggle of the spiritual to subdue the body. Yet the discordant details of the assemblages portray a blend of affection and irony.

Nature and culture or society and technology meet in Kris Kuksi’s art as pharmacological fantasies exploring life, mortality,  and consciousness. The flawed natures of humanity and the powerless struggle of the individual aim to fulfill the course of destiny, all while contemplating on the ruination of history. Symbols of introversion, such as the Capricorn in Capricorn Rising, meet their own dissolution and renewal. The rise of the Capricorn means the fulfillment of its fall, the closing of the circle, the beginning of a new cycle – and thus, the renewal of time. Rhythmic motifs, such as the crocodile in Triumph, are in a constant dialogue with a lost “Golden Age” but also with the deep unconscious, expressing the symbolism of dangers hiding in both the inner psyche and the outer world. Triumph is here the individual’s quest to reach the depths of the unconscious and conquer all the conditions lying quietly and disturbant in their wait. [The undeniably sheer force of the crocodile built a prolific and positive mythology in Ancient Egypt, for example, as a symbol of power and life evidenced by the god Sobek coming out of the waters of chaos to create the world.] Triumph is the coronation of a deep conflict.

Jacques Derrida once wrote that “One never escapes the economy of war”. [3] It is impossible to escape the order of violence, and one mustaccommodate this violence in order to reach a deeper understanding of it. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari have built an entire rhetoric of the war machine [4], where nomadic warriors and herders oppose the disciplined subject to favor a dynamic relation between material and forces, and where the war machine appears in a variety of forms: “an ‘ideological,’ scientific, or artistic movement can be a potential war machine.” [5] The artistic gesture itself triggers a war machine directed against the production of governed conditions and the regulations of power, though the warrior himself can never exceed neither his solitude, nor his death. The prestige is a powerless one, but it does claim to undergo the sacrifice of one’s inner transformation. The warrior might transform himself into a multifaceted god, but the only true figure remains his own.

Through his art, Kris Kuksi portrays the supernatural forces as they emerge in the displacement, repetition, growth and melding of living forms. Our altered and incomplete natures unveil a science of the body and the self, and our metamorphosis reveals the driving force of obsessions. Art goes back to silver work and assumes all the barbaric profusions portraying the order of life, realism and the West, one the one hand, and, on the other hand, the supernatural, the artificial and the exotic. Inserted between our contemporary caprices, the artist’s sculptural assemblages exert the architectonics of myth and dismay. The compositions are marked by a lunar feel, himerical spaces, and a pulsation of life driven by dramaturgy and amazement. The artist transfigures the architecture of our time according to the laws of the inner and infusing the contemporary subject with all the burden of its history – integration and transposition.

The pharmacological fantasies of Kris Kuksi express a complex world of strange forms and interferences, a world of deep shadows evoking the rational roots of the fantastic. Narratives are displaced once more in order to re-address the two faces of our most contemporary antiquity: a world of gods and humans where the heroic and the noble share the effusion of a powerful and organic life, and a world of the fantastic where complex bodies and natures mix within a heterogeneous field.  These fantasies unveil once more the wild and beastly character of man and divinity to tell the distortion of moralized mythologies, and just as the humanistic antiquity has been progressively replaced by a monstrous one along history, we might simply question ourselves – how will future antiquities look like?

 

References

[1] For reference, please see the artist’s profile atJoshua Liner Gallery.

[2] Id.

[3] Jacques Derrida – “Violence and Metaphysics: an Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Lévinas” (1964), in Writing and Difference, trans. by Alan Bass, University of Chicago Press, 1978, p. 148.

[4] Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari – A Thousand Plateaus, trans. by Brian Massumi, Continuum, London and New York, 1980.

[5] Id. – ibid., p. 422.

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