We could stare at Kris Kuksi’s insanely intricate sculptures for hours. His massive works created by the glueing, mending, and folding of thousands of found trinkets and collectibles, set the stage for beautifully rendered ancient human battles of power, creation, destruction, and religion. Kris’s latest (and largest) pieces were recently shown at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York, where we had the chance to catch up with the sculptural master:
Can you tell us a bit about how you first became interested in art and being an artist?
KK: Not sure if I really can recall “how”– I just knew I was born in the ways of an artist. Yet, my childhood had a lot to do with harboring creativity growing up in a rural setting outside Wichita, Kansas, which left lots of time to nurture my imagination to entertain myself. We didn’t have cable television and Atari was just making an appearance, although not enough for me to have too much interest in developing a need for video games. Therefore, I think I escaped the world of distraction and settled into creative solitude comfortably.
2. This is your third show at Joshua Liner Gallery, how is Triumph different from the rest?
KK: Basically, the difference is bigger works. More challenging pieces with new engineering problems that had not existed with other large pieces I’ve done before. Also, there is a defined harmony between the pieces expressing more balanced works in relation to masculine and feminine power. The two largest symbolic objects from the entire show are between a life-size goddess-like woman and a nearly 11 foot tall WW2 German Ferdinand style tank fitted with a chapel on top.
3. This show was super diverse too, with a painting, a bronze Church Tank, and a 11ft installation. What’s your favorite medium? Why?
KK: My favorite thing to do is to build things, so I have a particular attraction to the sculptures just because I do believe that is what I get excited about more than anything else. But I have a second love for painting, and I felt it was time to showcase that ability in this exhibit. I really enjoyed doing it all. And, for the future, I know there is uncharted territory stirring as well.
4. Where do you find most of your materials? Are there any pieces or trinkets in particular you love working with or finding?
KK: I find them wherever I can, and I enjoy visiting little ma and pa hobby shops as much as possible. Many things do have to be purchased online, but I really need to see the object to know what I can do with it before I collect it. What I love finding the most is a very old, rare, or discontinued collectable that would help to make my creation unique. My biggest goal now is to go to Japan and seize many fun trinkets and collectables there.
5. What’s next for you?
KK: Diving deeper into my insanity rummaging for undiscovered parts that will provoke something new that I can manifest. In other words, I see myself creating more complex works that stem from new ideas that will bring bigger challenges that result in my life having the perfect amount of stress and anxiety because I can’t seem to be happy without it! Now where did I put my glue?…
– written by Molly Cotter with opening photos by Yojiro Imasaka for Warholian
For more on Kris Kuksi’s latest show “Triumph” visit Joshua Liner Gallery here: http://joshualinergallery.com/
To visit the artist’s personal site, and to see more of Kris Kuksi’s work: http://kuksi.com/