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The Art of the Grotesque


Things that do more than just go "bump" in the night

Following in Halloween spirit, this art will not only cause some goosebumps, but will make a deep and profound impact on your soul, and expose you to some areas of weirdness that you never knew existed.

Art of Kris Kuksi falls in that category: wildly unpredictable and rich creations, ominous in their very amount of detail, often "unspeakable" in a very Lovecraft-ian way, pregnant with the idea that perhaps the world is more twisted than most artists care to admit. Something that Philip K. Dick might have conjured in his worst moments of battling the "demons of the mind", or Medieval Architects would aspire to, if they were given more creative freedom.

Visit Kris's website to see more (some images may be nsfw). We asked Kris some questions and he kindly agreed to answer Dark Roasted Blend, and provided us with some additional imagery:

An Exclusive Interview with Kris Kuksi, The Master of Grotesque

"The Deadly Sins", click to enlarge

"The Deadly Sins", details

How long have you been doing this, and how do you define your genre?

I started my first one in 2004 called "Parasite and Host", and from there they have evolved into what I call an appropriated onslaught of shit put together that otherwise shouldn't be together in order to create a physical world of what is in my head.

Any connection with works of Hieronymus Bosch, Lovecraft, Clive Barker?

Bosch was an early favorite of mine, perhaps more so than anyone else. He was well ahead of his time or perhaps he could see more than the other artists at the time.

"A New Divinity", with detail

"The Macabre Ride", click to enlarge

"His works share his thoughts on psychological issues, religious ideology, and aesthetics. Yet he never strays from the honesty within himself though he has had to shed many masks in order to do so. He finds the materialistic world of popular culture as the food for self-indulgence, self-escapism, and shallow-heartedness. Kuksi is obsessed with exposing the illusions we created as a result of fear in our minds..."

"The Decision", detail

"A Surrealist's Carnival", detail

"A Surrealist's Carnival", detail

What kind of "mixed media" do you use in your sculptures?

Mixed media is a very simplified term for what materials I use, but the list would be to long for this interview. I use "things". These things are pre-fabricated, injection-molded, press-molded, mass-produced, kitschy, weird stuff all brought together in a very articulated way that involves imagination, skill, math, craftsmanship, paint, and lastly, magic.

Do you model them on the computer first?

No, it is all built in my head first, but the detailing and such is improvised while I build. There are hundreds of possible ways of bringing these things together, but they must have the appeal of a flowing composition with visual balance and an overall pleasing look.

"The Arrival", detail

"The Arrival", detail

"He decides to see things differently in attempts to challenge the perspectives and ways of seeing that society, religion, parents, and governments want us to. He believes all walks of life, all people, all creatures are equal and it is selfish of us to characterize, judge, and punish those we feel are inferior to us. Kuksi wishes that his viewers will at least see things a different way even if it is only a brief while..."

"Lies & Persuasion", detail

"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 mankind of the West today is an elastic and fragile being driven primarily by greed and materialism."

"Palace of Hedonism", click to enlarge

"Palace of Hedonism", detail

What are creative influences in your work? books? artists? music?

I really don't know what inspires me other than patterns. Patterns in the existing world such as symmetry or harmony in both organic or non-organic materials. The patterns in music can give me great visual imagination, but mostly I seek pleasing arrangements of forms whether it be man made or not. But of course, the everyday world of humanity influences me, politics, religion, psychology, etc.

Are you happy with creative environment around you? art business?

The world today isn't suited very well for the long process of creating art. The thinking, the ideas, the production time, are challenging while the world around you moves so fast. I just learn to adapt to the world no matter how unfriendly it can be to artists. The art business in my experience has been both good and bad. Some galleries and agents have good intentions and are loyal in representing artists, while others use artists mostly for monetary gain rather than the preservation of art. The value of art these days is small in comparison to that of centuries ago. The artist tells the story of what life was like, and it would be interesting to see what humans will think about what was being made during our time right now. I just hope to be a voice that will be heard for centuries to come.

"The House of Fascism"

"The House of Fascism", detail

"Culture-Cleansing Machine", detail

"Culture-Cleansing Machine", detail

Any particular plans for the coming year?

I'll have a major solo show in June of next year, around 20 works. I also plan to put out my first book next year. And I imagine still collecting my oddities and the occasional dead animal.

Tell us three things about you that not many people know.

First, I'm an electric guitar virtuoso in the style of neo-classical shredding, popularized by noted guitar players such as Yngwie Malmsteen. I rarely do any public performances or play in bands, I use it mostly to seduce women-ha! Second, I have double-jointed shoulder blades with which I can extrude outwards, though I never use this to seduce women. Third, I was an alter boy in the Catholic Church years ago, that alone will seduce anyone.

Kris Kuksi works in a variety of styles and media. His "Church Tank" modification we featured before, and here is an example of his "Fantastic Realism" work:

"Psychotropic Comparative Anatomy"

Moving from the "surrealist-turned-philosopher" creations of Kris Kuksi, which pack enough visual punch to merit a repeated viewing, let's see what's done in the field of grotesque steampunk sculpture, namely -

Fire-breathing Robots of Lance Greathouse

RaceGreathouseLabs builds fire-breathing monsters, some of which might've stepped straight out of the nightmarish works of Kris Kuksi. At first they built battle bots for "Robot Wars", but moved into fire-enhanced creations for the "Burning Man" Events:

"The Sandman" - a 10 foot long, walking and fire-shooting robotic machine:

Jumping spiders, flaming bots and unnamed "things" inhabit the Greathouse Labs, providing lots of overheated excitement:

Terminator-like entities haunt the grounds:

Wicked-looking battle bots and robot crawlers lurk in the garage, the walking cannons scurry around like mechanized chickens:

Imagine meeting this thing somewhere in the country field in the middle of the night... You just might become a connoisseur of "grotesque" for the rest of your life.

(all images copyright: Lance Greathouse, used by permission)

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Category: Art,Weird
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

kuksi is the future of art, absolute magic. - thanks for the great interview and profile DRB

adam unknown

Blogger Oliver said...

And no mention of HR Giger as a possible influence? Are you f-ing kidding me?

Anonymous author said...


Blogger cyry88 said...


The amount of detail is very impressive! Thanks for the pictures DRB!

Anonymous Mary said...

Great! I'm delighted.


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