Tag Archive | Kris Kuksi

Kris Kuksi, Amalgamation at Joshua Liner Gallery

Ambiguous Exodus
Ambiguous Exodus (All Photos By Gail)

Joshua Liner Gallery is currently hosting Amalgamation, an exhibition of new work from Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi. This is Kuksi’s fifth solo show with Liner and it includes seven works in the artist’s signature medium of mixed media assemblage.


When observing the delicate wall assemblages Kris Kuksi constructs, intricacy seems almost an understatement. Excessively detailed, each work plays out an epic drama meticulously assembled piece by piece. Largely influenced by the ornamental details of the late Baroque and Rococo movements, these embellished pieces possess a darkness. Chaos, downfall, and anguish are poignant struggles amongst Kuksi’s miniature models, their plight serving as commentary on humanity’s social, political and spiritual obstacles. The title of the exhibition — Amalgamation — sheds light on Kuksi’s elaborate process of collection, and also bears reference to the multiple chaotic narratives taking place in each ornate piece.

A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms

Many of the central figures in Kuksi’s assemblages resemble deities, transcending the disorder and turmoil that surround them. Rage and conflict between the smaller, less dominant figures is literally below them. In Farewell to Arms, a mythical warrior rises above a mass of smaller figures clambering beneath, struggling to keep hold of their heavy artillery.

A Farewell to Arms Detail
A Farewell to Arms, Detail

Perhaps this profound difference in size between the godlike central figure and smaller mortal figures metaphorically reveals the sheer distance humanity is from total serenity. Kuksi elaborates, “Human beings are limited by their greed and carelessness yet they know it. Humans know how to be better and solve problems that are pressing the advancement of our species but we don’t always do the right thing. We are consumed by our darkness and yet we don’t realize we don’t have to be. I think if we can embrace our dark impulses, we can overcome them.”


Sedation Detail
Sedation Detail

The process of assembling these intricate works is complex and time consuming, and sourcing the right piece to fit can take months. Balance and placement are of equal importance in the construction of the assemblages, thus resulting in the majority of the works having a symmetrical appearance. Kuksi explains, “It is balance of chaos vs. symmetry which can take lots of time just thinking out the arrangement for balance and control, rushing the process will leave too much chaos.” Aside from the painstaking arrangement of each assemblage, the artist pays special attention to every individual piece, hand painting them with careful patience. In many cases, the final result is unknown and it is the process of assemblage that builds the narrative and speaks to the artist.

Psychoactive Animalia
Psychoactive Animalia

Over the many hours spent constructing a piece, Kuksi develops a fondness for each work as he explains, “I will love a new piece I’m building and I will sink in sadness to have to come to an end just to finish it.” However, the necessity to move on and begin another work is vital to the artist’s ambition as he explains, “My hope is that my art is a tool for recognition, at least in the short term. Tomorrow is always a new struggle and a new fight for survival.”

Ambiguous Exodus Detail
Ambiguous Exodus, Detail

Imperial Rights Fighter
Imperial Rights Fighter, Bronze on Wood Base

Star Wars fans may also get kick out of this fun, hybrid sculpture.

Imperial Rights Fighter

Kuksi’s Imperial Rights Fighter is also available in a hand-painted, 3D printed multiple in a limited edition of fifty pieces. Contact the gallery for pricing and availability.

Kris Kuksi’s Amalgamation will be on Exhibit through November 14th, 2015 at Joshua Liner Gallery540 West 28th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Kris Kuksi Amalgamation Signage

Kuksi Installation View

Stephen Romano Presents Opus Hypnagogia at the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Morbid Anatomy Museum Building
All Photos By Gail

It’s been more than a few months since the Stephen Romano Gallery closed its location in Dumbo and went in search of a new home, and it has been sorely missed; not only for its unique exhibits of engaging art, and the cutting-edge artists that Romano goes out of his way to promote and support, but for the invaluable sense of community he has helped to cultivate among artists, writers, collectors and fans – which is just indispensable. Fortunately, while the gallery waits to move into a new space, Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum stepped in to offer Stephen Romano the opportunity to curate another fantastic exhibit, Opus Hypnagogia, featuring items from his expansive personal collection as well as new works from many of the artists we’ve gotten to know through him and his gallery over the past year. This is an exciting exhibit!

Saint in the Window

The Morbid Anatomy Museum is a building that’s easy to spot, thanks to its imposing signage and its excellent corner lot location at Third Avenue and Seventh Street. You really can’t miss it. In addition to a gorgeous second-floor exhibit space, the museum is home to an eclectic gift shop and a lovely tiny café, both of which inhabit the ground floor of the building.

Gift Shop Taxidermy

The gift shop also serves as a place of exhibition and education, with its collection of taxidermy animals, specimens and collectible curios. Very fun!

Library Vitrine

On the second floor, adjoining the exhibit space, you’ll find a fascinating research Library with rare and collectible editions, as well as many glass vitrines showcasing a collection of fascinating medical specimens, Day of The Dead figurines and religious iconography from around the world.

Siamese Ducks
Siamese Baby Ducks

Angel Devil
Angel and Devil Day of The Dead Dolls Keep Company with a Collection of Teeth

Be sure to explore the Museum in its entirety during your visit, because there’s something to see and be fascinated by at every turn!

Installation View

Magia Naturalis Demons
Illustration of Demons from Faust’s Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis

With its inclusion of interconnected themes such as Religion, Horror and the Occult, Opus Hypnagogia, like the Museum itself, is both entertaining and informative. Perhaps the most enchanting and enigmatic item on view, or, rather, protected from handling in a vitrine in the room’s center, is Romano’s personal copy of  a rare edition of Doctor Johannes Faust’s Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis, which is an elaborately illustrated book of spells and conjuring, with text written in old German. Fascinating.

Magia Naturalis Snake Lady

Stephen was kind enough to personally page through the book with me so I could photograph some of the drawings. He told me that he outbid a famous Rock Star to become owner of this coveted and legendary grimoire.

Magia Naturalis Flying Demon

Fortunately, he did not have to sell his soul in the process. HA!

Magia Naturalis Faun

These drawings of beasts, demons and creatures are just amazingly detailed, and there are at least a hundred of them.

Kris Kuksi Tiny Church Tank

Being a huge fan of sculptor Kris Kuksi, we were delighted to see a miniature edition of his famous Church Tank, which was created specifically for this exhibit.

Kris Kuksi Tiny Church Tank

Kris Kuksi Tiny Church Tank

Church Tank!

El Gato Chimney

One of our favorite artists, Italian painter El Gato Chimney, contributed this large watercolor, as well as several smaller triptychs, which are beautiful and quite collectible.

El Gato Chimney Triptych

His work is amazing!

Martin Witfooth

One of the hottest contemporary artists on the scene right now, Martin Wittfooth, contributed this fantastic painting of a dog with ferns coming out of its mouth, which is displayed above a set of occult plaques.

Scrimshaw Ceremonial Wand

This Scrimshaw Ceremonial Wand, which was actually used as part of authentic incantation ceremonies, is displayed in the case alongside the Faust edition.

Owl And Hell Rider

Conjoined Demon Skull

Tennessee-based sculptor Matthew Dutton has a couple of his signature pieces in the show, including this Conjoined Demon Skull.

Demon with Kitty by Matthew Dutton

And this Demon created from found objects, which is holding a ceramic statue of a kitty wearing a wizard hat.

Kitty Wizard


Opus Hypnagogia will be on exhibit through October 18th, 2015, and you can call the museum in advance of your visit at (347)799-1017 with any questions. Everyone who works there is very nice.

The Morbid Anatomy Museum is located at 424-A 3rd Avenue (Corner of 7th Street), Brooklyn, NY. Closest Trains are the F and the R. Admission is just $8.00.

Opus Hypnogogia Signage

Lost Souls

Mysterium Cosmographicum Group Show at Stephen Romano Gallery

Six Scenes of Space
Six Space Paintings, Artist Unknown (All Photos By Gail)

Last Thursday, Stephen Romano Gallery lured me away from my familiar haunts in the Chelsea Gallery District all the way to DUMBO, Brooklyn for its new group exhibition, Mysterium Cosmographicum, featuring works from over 30 international artists on the theme of the artist’s relationship to the cosmos. Seriously, how could you stay away from that? I’d been invited to the opening reception by one of my favorite local artists, Eric Richardson (I am proud to own two of his paintings in my collection) but I was super excited once I got to the gallery to see both Colin Christian and Kris Kuksi, two other fantastic artists whose work I always like to support, participating in the show.

Eric Richardson
Eric Richardson, Seducer

Colin Christian Solaris
Colin Christian, Solaris

Colin Christian Half Pint
Colin Christian, Half Pint

Kris Kuksi Seraphim at Rest
Kris Kuksi, Seraphim at Rest

Mysterium Cosmographicum presents a selection of works that demonstrate the variety of responses to the notion of the divine cosmos. I noticed a lot of Outer Space-themed art, and also a lot of art with religious iconography on display and I think the two are not mutually exclusive.

Jana Brike Severance of The Worlds
Jana Brike, Severance of The Worlds

Included in the list of internationally active artists with work in this exhibit are Shonagh Adelman (Brooklyn), Steven Baines (Brooklyn), Dan Barry (Austin TX), Jana Brike (Latvia), Paul Campbell (Brooklyn), Judy Chappus (Windosr, Ontario), El Gato Chimney (Italy), Mahwish Chishty (Pakistan/Chicago), Colin Christian (Tampa), Edward Robin Coronel (Austin), Matthew Dutton (Chattanooga TN), Sonya Fu (Hong Kong), James Gallagher (Brooklyn), Limor Gasko (Brooklyn), Teiji Hayama (Switzerland), Alessia Iannetti (Italy), Jumaadi (Australia), Lu Ke (Brooklyn), Tine Kindermann (New York), Pavel Kraus (Brooklyn), Kris Kuksi (Kansas), So Youn Lee (Los Angeles), Joel Lorand (paris), Rene Lynch (Brooklyn), Abby Martin (Washington), Heiko Müller (Germany), Matt Nolen (Brooklyn), Peca (Barcelona), Eric Richardson (New York), Ray Robinson (LaHavre), Gromyko Semper (Manila), Masae Shimoichi (Tokyo), Martin Wittfooth (Brooklyn), and K.B. Yung (Portland ORE).

Here are more of my favorite pieces from the show:

Matthew Dutton Kelper's Helper"
Matthew Dutton, Kelper’s Helper

Shonagh Adelman Ballet X
Shonagh Adelman, Ballet X

Phresha Mind Control Kitty
Phresha, Mind Control Kitty

Alessia Iannetti Calliope
Alessia Iannetti, Calliope

The show also includes cosmographic euphemera from throughout history such as plates from Andreas Cellarius’ Harmonia Macrocosmica from 1660 and several works by America’s earliest visionary artist Charles Dellschau (1830 – 1923). The exhibition features several vintage astronomical vernacular photographs, space pulp paintings from the 1960’s, hand-drawn star maps from 1800’s, works by visionary artists William Blayney (1918 – 1985), A. Fiorelo (dates unknown), Romeyn De Hooghe (1645 – 1708), Darcilio Lima (1944 – 1991) and William Mortensen (1897–1965).

Darcilio Lima The Prince
Darcilio Lima, The Prince

Teiji Hayama Madone
Teiji Hayama, Madone

Peca Hopie Dream Miracle
Peca, Hopie Dream Miracle

Stephen Romano Gallery is a new addition to the DUMBO arts community, having opened its doors in April of 2014 with the favorably received inaugural exhibition, Welcome To The Dreamtime.

El Gato Chimney Hermit of The Stars
El Gato Chimney, Hermit of The Stars

Mysterium Cosmographicum

Mysterium Cosmographicum will be on Exhibit Through August 30th, 2014 at Stephen Romano Gallery, Located at 111 Front Street, Suite 208, DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Stephen Romano Gallery Signage
Child Faced Ram

Art By Matthew Dutton

Kris Kuksi’s Revival at Joshua Liner Gallery

Kris Kuksi Sculpture
All Photos By Gail

Joshua Liner Gallery is currently hosting the must-see exhibit, Revival, featuring mixed-media assemblage sculptures by Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi. This is Kuksi’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery with works ranging medium-in-size to some over five feet-tall and five feet-wide. The works were definitely on a much smaller scale than those included in a previous exhibit of his work, Triumph, which we saw in March of 2012. Continuing in Kuksi’s highly recognizable assemblage style, each sculpture contains worlds within worlds within worlds, every inch of the piece telling layered stories rich with occult meaning.

Kuksi Detail
Detail from the Sculpture, Above

Film Director Guillermo del Toro has referred to Kuksi as “a postindustrial Rococo master,” a fitting compliment to the artist’s Shrine-like tableaus.

Kuksi Feathered Sculpture

Kuksi Feathered Sculpture Detail
Detail from the Sculpture, Above

I can’t even imagine how labor intensive these pieces are, considering the placement of each tiny piece seems entirely intentional. There must be several thousand components in each of Kuksi’s sculptures. You could probably look at one for a year and never see everything.

Kris Kuksi Chrich Tank

Revival also includes a small scale version of The Churchtank — a steepled church structure fused to the base of a tank — a much larger edition of which was given the run of Liner’s rear gallery space during the Triumph exhibit. Church Tank!

Kris Kuksi
Kris Kuksi Photographed by Gail at Joshua Liner Gallery

Kris was present at the opening reception last Thursday and he was super nice to all his fans. I asked him if he’d every considered putting lots of tiny objects in his beard, and while he claimed to have considered the idea, he’d declined to execute it.

Kris Kuksi Sculpture

I like this guy. He looks like a Renaissance badass.

Kris Kuksi Sculpture

Kris Kuksi Sculpture Detail
Detail from the Sculpture, Above

Kris Kuksi is massively talented and truly a one-of-a-kind artist. Don’t miss your chance to see his work up close. Fortunately, you have a little extra time to make it the Liner Gallery for this one.

Kris Kuksi’s Revival will be on Exhibit Through January 18, 2014 at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at 540 West 28th Street, New York, in the Chelsea Gallery District. Gallery Hours are Tuesday — Saturday from 11:00 AM — 6:00 PM.

Joshua Liner Christens New Gallery Space with Direct Address: An Inaugural Group Exhibition

Stephen Powers A Month of Somedays
Stephen Powers A Month of Somedays

One of our favorite Galleries in the Chelsea Arts District, Joshua Liner, has just moved from an upper floor at 540 West 28th Street to a 2,600-square-foot street level exhibition space that completely transforms the environmental aesthetic of the gallery. To celebrate the move, Joshua Liner is currently presenting Direct Address, an inaugural group exhibition featuring works in diverse media by longtime gallery figures as well as new additions to the program. Participants include the following artists:

Alfred Steiner, Clayton Brothers, Cleon Peterson, Dave Kinsey, David Ellis, Evan Hecox, Greg Lamarche, Ian Francis, Jean-Pierre Roy, Kris Kuksi, Oliver Vernon, Pema Rinzin, Richard Colman, Riusuke Fukahori, Shawn Barber, Stephen Powers, SWOON, Tiffany Bozic, Tomokazu Matsuyama and Tony Curanaj.

While I missed last week’s opening reception, I did drop by to see the show early last evening and was blown away not only by the gorgeous new space, but also by the fantastic artworks; some by artists I have come to know well through the Liner gallery, and other artists whose work I was seeing for the first time.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show:

Riusuke Fukahori Rinne

What you see here is neither real fish nor real water, but a micro-layered acrylic painting by Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori, which is viewed as a solid object. Pretty cool!

David Ellis All That Glitters Kinetic sound and light installation
All That Glitters by David Ellis

This kinetic sculpture/chandelier by David Ellis is equipped with motors as well as recorded music, so that it plays various original instrumental pieces at random, accompanied by the tinkling or clinking of the bottles and other suspended pieces of the sculpture. Gallery assistant Lizzie told me that Ellis will have a full gallery show in September, so I will be looking forward to checking that out.

Stephen Powers Daily Metaltation
Daily Metaltations by Stephen Powers

We’ve seen a fun show by former-sign-painter-turned-graphic-artist Stephen Powers at Liner just this past summer and his work is colorful and full of dry humor.

Kris Kuksi Neo-Roman Opera House
Neo-Roman Opera House By Kris Kuksi

Ah, Kris Kuksi: He is just the best. Check out a detail of this insane work below.

Kris Kuksi Neo-Roman Opera House Detail

You could look at just one of Kuksi’s worlds within worlds sculptures for weeks and never see everything.

Jean-Pierre Roy The Long Shadow to Put to Use, Once Recognized
The Long Shadow to Put to Use, Once Recognized By Jean-Pierre Roy

The Joshua Liner show has one of Jean-Pierre Roy’s paintings of futuristic, urban dystopia. His work is always thought provoking.

Clayton Brothers Reality Waits for Natural Light Detail

The Clayton Brothers have contributed a dozen works to this show, which are mostly clustered in a row along the front of the gallery’s main desk. Here is a close up of two panels from this series, which is called Reality Waits for Natural Light. These paintings reminded me a bit of Brazilian street artists, Os Gemeos.

SWOON Thalassa (Pink Seahorse)
Thalassa (Pink Seahorse) by SWOON

Street artist SWOON contributed this nice piece.

Bottle Rocket Bouquet
Bottle Rocket Bouquet

I’m not sure who the artist of this painting is, but I liked that I was able to guess the title just from observing the contents of the picture.

Direct Address: An Inaugural Group Exhibition will be on Exhibit Through April 20th, 2013 at Joshua Liner Gallery, Located at 540 West 28th Street. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Joshua Liner Gallery Presents Triumph By Kris Kuksi

Kris Kuksi Surrender of Helios
The Surrender of Helios By Kris Kuksi (Mixed Media Assemblage)

If you enjoy visual works of art that explore rich worlds of myth and fantasy, while offering endless potential for imaginative extrapolation on the part of the viewer, you’ll flip over the work of Kansas-based artist Kris Kuksi. Very accurately described as containing a “stunning excess of detail,” Kuksi painstakingly assembles his gothic-renaissance-steam punk-esque sculptures from countless layers of found objects ranging from statues and figurines, skulls, taxidermied animals, altar pieces, dolls, jewelry, miniature army men and even the lower half of a tank – all treated with misted coats of grey/white paint that give each piece the look and feel of an unearthed ancient treasure. In this way, Kris Kuksi creates miniature worlds that you can easily get lost in. Of course, the foundation for each of Kuksi’s works is his vast and wildly engaging imagination. Trust me that the “Oh Wow” factor is off the charts for Triumph, an exhibit comprised of a dozen of Kuksi’s assemblages, one large scale painting and an installation of the artist’s Churchtank sculpture series, which is given the run of the Liner Gallery’s rear room. Triumph is lots of fun and a must-see exhibit. Find out more on the art of Kris Kuksi at his website, Kuksi Dot Com.

Kris Kuksi’s Triumph will be on Exhibit through April 7, 2012 at the Joshua Liner Gallery, 548 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor, Chelsea.