Antiquity: Kris Kuksi On Art, Mysticism, and the Old World.

Artist Kris Kuksi is an artist out of Kansas (born in Missouri) that has made waves with his fascinating pieces.

The work that Kris is producing taps into a  mystical antiquity that explores the dichotomy of good and evil and it's theatrical nature.

The sculpted tableaus themselves represent a brand of exceptional craftsmanship that is complex, eye-popping, and insightful.

As we have invested more and more time and energy into the almost ephemeral cyberscape, I was curious about if the staying power of his art was a result of this, he stated that:

"It’s a part of history recording. No matter what the art form, its always relevant to place it in a society or culture whether it belongs or not. We are obsessed with the here and now, live in the present as they say. But the future decides what is left to remember. Hopefully what I have done stays."

Kris discusses the iconography of his art and it's implications.

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Prox: Intellectually (artistic or otherwise), what movements have had the greatest influence your work?

KK: The surrealist movement, the Baroque era, and just about any form of old world art architecture has been the biggest influence on my work. The modern world chaos as well, both in architecture and human psychology.  

Prox: A good majority of your sculptures seem to explore the relationship and dichotomy between good and evil. Could you discuss your spiritual beliefs and upbringing? How have your views on these subjects shifted over the years?

KK: I grew up in a Catholic environment.  Although I didn’t agree with it much at all, I was drawn to religious sculptures and gothic style cathedrals. The fight with Good and Evil exists only in the human mind. I found it fascinating how cultures world wide focused on this as a means to form society, yet to the expense of human expression itself. What we humans desire and want, sometimes is considered wrong or deviant. As an artist it's a calling to challenge what is good and evil, whether good intentions have a negative effect and/or evil doings actually rather pleasurable, is what I found to my voice.

Prox: What draws you towards imagery that looks like it could be plucked from the Iliad or Mahabharata?

KK: I love theatrics, to tell a story with the visual elements that I can collect and have to work with. Create the environment and let the viewer bring about their own interpretations. I’m a big fan of the Mahabharata by the way!

Prox: There is an obvious air of mystically in your pieces but it’s quite different from what we typically see from those who have had psychedelic experiences. What was the atmosphere like during your most insightful trips that have impacted your creations?

KK: Personal experiences in life paved way for my works. I would say I hallucinated in my childhood through illnesses, such as severe fevers, and in those moments I received very surreal moments of imagination.

The family environment was also a contribution to the messages in what I wanted to say, such as a broken home with alcoholic step fathers and an emotionally unobtainable mother. Lots of soul searching in my youth locked in the cold realities of the world that seemingly fell into my life calling as ones who expresses through art. 

Prox: Do you think it’s possible that some of the progenitors of the most iconic ancient art disciplines were experimenting with hallucinogenic substances?

KK: I most certainly think so, whether historians agree or not!

Prox: In an increasingly digital world, do you think the symbology of sculptures and other types of physical artwork has benefited from their semi-permanent nature?

KK: It’s a part of history recording. No matter what the art form, its always relevant to place it in a society or culture whether it belongs or not. We are obsessed with the here and now, live in the present as they say. But the future decides what is left to remember. Hopefully what I have done stays.

Prox: We always seem to be at war with something in the Western world but I have heard “War on Consciousness” and “Spiritual Warfare.” Do you think there is any merit to this at all? Where does your art and art in general fit into this discussion?

KK: I agree that no matter where one thinks peace thrives, there is still conflict. I seen gurus and self proclaimed ‘spiritually elevated’ types still focused on division and judgment.

Despite the attack on our own means to think for ourselves in Western Cultures, conflict within our own mind still exists. My work resonates much of this in what I call an organized chaos between the inner wars on ourselves, as well as the outer physical world.  

Prox: Any new artists, books, music, or movies/shows you’d like to recommend?

KK:

Artist: Ernst Fuchs.

Book: Feeding your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Conflict by Tsultrim Allione.

Movie: Magnolia directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Prox: Would you like to share some information on any upcoming releases you have on the horizon?

KK: Future projects in the works, more details coming…

Be sure to follow Kris on Facebook, Instagram, and his website.

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