I have been thinking a lot about the changing styles of art and what is valued now and I was hoping to find a modern artist that is somewhat comparable to the style of ancient artists. I came across Mr. Kuksi and his work instantly reminded me of sculptures of ancient Rome and those of Michelangelo.
The work on the left is Kris Kuksi’s and the one the right is a portrait of Marcus Aurelius from ancient Rome. Kris Kuksi uses a similar style for the faces and bodies of his figures in his sculptures. I think he purposely references ancient art and then adds his intricate and grotesque touch. And upon further research it looks like I was correct in my assumption of his preference towards ancient art styles.
“He soon discovered his distaste for the typical and popular culture of American life and felt that he had always belonged to the ‘Old World’. In personal reflection, he feels that much of mankind in the World today is elastic and fragile being driven primarily by greed and materialism. He hopes that through his art expose his audience to the awareness of the fallacies of Man.” http://joshualinergallery.com/artists/kris_kuksi/
So he is bringing attention to the greed and materialism of mankind, looking closely at the scenes that he has created I can see where that comes through.
A piece of his artist statement was, “I get inspired by the industrial world, all the rigidity of machinery, the network of pipes, wires, refineries, etc. Then I join that with an opposite of flowing graceful, harmonious, and pleasing design of the Baroque and Rococo. And of course I add a bit weirdness and the macabre. It’s all about how I see the evolution of what man makes his created environment look like.” “My art speaks of a timelessness; potentiality and motion attempting to reach on forever, and yet pessimistically delayed; forced into the stillness of death and eternal sleep.”http://joshualinergallery.com/artists/kris_kuksi/
I can see the opposition of machinery and war with love and soft, graceful figures. The artist uses primarily model parts of wood and metal. He takes old objects from all around the world like small toys, mechanical components and other parts and refashions them to create his intricate scenes. The small old toys and model parts work very well for his idea of the “evolution” of mans environment.
A critic has described Kuksi’s assemblages as a “…confusing amalgam. Hanging on a thread of being classical and solemn, … rococoish and ornate.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kris_Kuksi
At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about his work. All I can say is it is not my favorite but I definitely don’t hate it.