Kris Kuksi was born March 2, 1973, in Springfield Missouri and growing up in neighbouring Kansas, he spent his youth in rural seclusion and isolation along with a blue-collar, working mother, two much-older brothers and an absent father. According the the Kris Kuksi website, open country, sparse trees, and alcoholic stepfather, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion. His fascination with the unusual led to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him, as it seemed, was beautiful.
Skullwhip Scorpion (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
Reaching adulthood his art blossomed and created a breakthrough of personal freedom from the negative environment experienced during his youth. He soon discovered his distaste for the typical American life and pop culture, feeling that he has always belonged to the ‘Old World’. Yet, Kris’ work as a painter and sculptor is about a new wilderness, refined and elevated, visualised as a cultivation emerging from the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society. He feels that in the world today, much of mankind is oftentimes a frivolous and fragile being driven primarily by greed and materialism, and he with his art he wants to expose the fallacies of man and womankind, unveiling a new level of awareness to the viewer of politics, war, famine, and discrimination.
The Deadly Sins (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
In excommunicate.net he says: “My art represents the aggression that I have within me. My feelings about society, relationships, religion, politics, etc”. At the same time he does not only see and bring to to life the inappropriate and fragile but also the unnoticed beauty, his “the love for those things of beauty and harmony.” In fact, nature is his biggest inspiration, “the symmetry, anatomy and designs of living and non-living forms”. At the same time though he is “also inspired by the visual interest in architecture, such as Baroque and Gothic structures, and industrial buildings such as refineries”. And as far as subjects are concerned, it is “mankind and the human experience” that move him to create.
Reclining Nude (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
In his biography, Kris is quoted as saying that he believes “not in the Devil but in demons in the mind that create the real Hell of mental anguish, suffering, and guilt which inevitably manifests the turmoil of humanity”, which confirms that he has no religious beliefs but is a very spiritual person. Again, in excommunicate.net he says: “Hell as described in the bible is just like what exists in the world today, the human mind creates this world and humans are what keep it a reality. If we could see that all suffering is because of the bad beliefs and prejudices in our minds, the world would be different. Maybe I am here in this world to depict these feelings through my art.”
Expecting to Fly (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
Here are some more quotes from beinart.org in which he describes his work: “… Painting is a struggle for me which is good, we all need that. But intuitively I’m a builder and the sculptures satisfy that need.”
“I’m very self-critical and never pat myself on the back, never. I accomplish things very well but I never spend too much time enjoying it. I have to do more, I think that it must be for a grand pinnacle somewhere that I will be at. Maybe it is only to inspire people to change things in this world. Money is nice and it helps to do the next big thing, but I do this out of selfless motives. I’m proud of the work but I know that I always have to continue making it and getting better. I’m in a prison so to speak, I am one who won’t enjoy a nice married life with children. I won’t enjoy a relaxing vacation in the Bahamas. I have to be getting this stuff out. I’d say I’m like the old cliché of walking the fine line of madness.”
Lust and Self Abuse (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
“Yes, I’ve gotten a lot more political since Bush has been in office. I’m concerned about it because of what the rest of the world thinks about Americans. I guess I want to let people of other cultures that not all Americans follow Bush’s foot steps so blindly. War is something I am always fascinated with, and it has been a part of human history from early man. I like to probe into this aspect of psychology, and the irrational motives we have that create it. Aggression is something that isn’t exactly inborn in us, but learned. We teach our children to hate and have biases towards other humans of differing beliefs and religions. In turn, it is loyalty that drives one to fight a war.”
Church Tank Type 5A (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
“So here is the future upon us, war is present more than ever. The climate is fragile and changing rapidly. What happens in say 50 years? Scary to think about.”
“Yes, dark satire is a perfect way to describe it. I tend to have a dark sense of humour when it comes to life. So many things are dark in our times, it is no wonder so much art is reflecting this. In fact we tend to make fun of how awful things are. But humour is a great way to expose something without coming across as crass.”
Psychotropic Comparative Anatomy (because Kris Kuksi’s work is best viewed in its detail, click on the hyperlink)
For more of his work, especially his amazing intricate sculpture, go to his website.