A sculpture by artist Kris Kuksi.
The function of my work has to do with relating to the darker side of human psychology
One of the notable fans of artist and sculptor Kris Kuksi is visionary film director Guillermo del Toro. And once you’ve seen Kuksi’s work it will not be hard to understand why it attracted the distinguished eye of del Toro and the late Robin Williams, among others.
Kuksi moved away from Springfield, Missouri and his alcoholic father while still a young child and was raised by his mother in a rural community just outside of Wichita, Kansas along with his two older brothers. The town offered a rather stagnant and unstimulating environment for the aspiring artist who spent a lot of time playing with his Star Wars action figures and LEGO bricks by himself. Kuksi’s grandmother would provide her grandson with her own stationary to draw on which allowed him to express himself despite the desolation he was surrounded by. His love of drawing was also encouraged by his high school art teacher who advised the teenager to continue his studies with higher education. Kuksi would go on to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in painting from Fort Hays State University.
By the time he was 22 Kuksi made his first attempt at sculpture using found objects such as castaway toys, leftover bits from modeling kits, wood, jewellery and other materials that helped him bring the images in his imagination to life. According to the artist it can take months to finish one of his densely detailed sculptures and it’s not unusual for him to work fourteen to sixteen hour jags in a single day on a complex piece in his studio—a former church by the Kansas River. Kuksi’s work is deeply influenced by Italian Renaissance masters and he refers to one of the greatest sculptors of the 17th century and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini as his “ultimate hero.”
I don’t like to use the phrase “mind-blowing” without good reason but Kuksi’s sculpture work is absolutely worthy of such praise. Kuksi’s artwork is featured in the 2010 book published by BeinART, Kris Kuksi: Divination and Delusion. Some images are delightfully NSFW.
‘Leda and the Swan.’ A sculpture by artist Kris Kuksi, 2014.
Up-close detail from Kuksi’s ‘Ambiguous’ sculpture, 2015.
Detail from the sculpture ‘With Reverence,’ 2014.
Detail from the sculpture ‘The Tegu,’ 2016.
Detail from the sculpture ‘Rapture,’ 2016.
Detail from the sculpture ‘Faux Patriot Revolution,’ 2014.
Detail from the sculpture ‘Triumph,’ 2012.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Animal/human hybrid sculptures and other menacing ceramic characters
Disturbingly beautiful sculptures created with discarded doll parts
Natural History Surrealist Sculpture: Exquisite dreamlike plant-animal hybrids