3rd Place recipient
Born March 2, 1973, in Springfield Missouri and growing up in neighboring Kansas, Kris spent his youth in rural seclusion and isolation along with a blue-collar, working mother, two significantly older brothers, and an absent father. Open country, sparse trees, and alcoholic stepfather, all paving the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion. His propensity for the unusual has been a constant since childhood, a lifelong fascination that lent itself to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him, as it seemed, was beautiful.
Kris Kuksi garners recognition and acclaim for the intricate sculptures that result from his unique and meticulous technique. A process that requires countless hours to assemble, collect, manipulate, cut, and re-shape thousands of individual parts, finally uniting them into an orchestral-like seamless cohesion that defines the historical rise and fall of civilization and envisions the possible future(s) of humanity. Each sculpture embodies the trademarks of his philosophy and practice, while serving as a testament to the multifaceted nature of perception – From timeless iconic references of Gods and Goddess, to challenging ideas of organized religion and morality, to the struggle to understand, and bend, the limits of mortality. None is complete without a final and brilliant touch of satire and rebuke all conceived in the aesthetic essence of the Baroque fused with the modern day industrial world.
In personal reflection, Kris feels that in the world today much of mankind is oftentimes frivolous and fragile, being driven primarily by greed and materialism. He hopes that his art exposes the fallacies of Man, unveiling a new level of awareness to the viewer. His work has received several awards and prizes and has been featured in over 100 exhibitions in galleries and museums worldwide including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Kris’ art can also be seen in a number of international art magazines, book covers and theatrical posters. Kris’ art is featured in both public and private collections in the United States, Europe, and Australia that include individuals such as Mark Parker (Nike CEO), Kay Alden (three time Emmy award winning writer for Young and the Restless & Bold and the Beautiful), Fred Durst (musician, and film director), Chris Weitz (movie director The Golden Compass& Twilight: New Moon) Guillermo del Toro (movie director Pan’s Labyrinth & Hell Boy 2) and Robin Williams (Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor).