Monday, November 2, 2009

Kris Kulski

In lieu of Halloween's passing, I find it a nice excuse to visit the macabre. Last year we looked at artist Laurie Lipton's pencil drawings, using skeletons as the subject. This year I've come across an incredibly fascinating artist by the name of Kris Kuksi, who also uses skeletons.

Kris was born in Springfield, Missouri in 1973 and raised in rural Kansas, somewhat isolated from the world. His website says that "the grotesque to him, as it seemed, was beautiful". Perhaps those of us who take care of dying patients daily could say the same about death itself.

His art has become his statement against what he feels is mankind's frivolous and frail focus on greed and materialism. Again from his website, "He hopes that his art exposes the fallacies of Man, unveiling a new level of awareness to the viewer".

The piece "Through Death United"(2007) is done with mixed media. The two central skeletons are placed together like a couple recently wed. However from the title, perhaps just reunited after death. There is a small child's skeleton lying above them. It appears like one happy family. The real treat of Kris's work is in the details. Looking at the pictures, I wish I could actually see these in person and view the action taking place. Little figures climb the woman's leg. Their are animals and houses placed everywhere.

The use of a skeleton to most symbolizes mortality. The personification of death for Kris brings attention to this human fear. "There is a fear of this consciousness because it drops in upon us without mercy, and yet there is a need to appeal to it in order to provide a sense of security".

The other piece to share is "Sanctuary of the Bewildered"( 2009). In this selection the skeleton remains central, however the story of the piece seems less centered on death. I notice there are many wheels, large gas lights, and military figures holding rockets. There also seems to be more nationalities represented in the figures. My interpretation is that in mankind's attempt to create a "sanctuary", or a place of refuge and protection, we've done nothing less with our technology than to create confusion. The chaos in the work is everywhere, and again, the detail just tremendous.

If you enjoy these works, check out Kris Kuksi's website which houses pictures of all his works, including detailed pictures of most of these.

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