Kris Kuksi

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Kris Kuksi
Known forAssemblages, painting, drawing
MovementClassical roots; related to Surrealism

Kris Kuksi is an American artist in the genre of Surrealism. [1] Kuksi's work has been displayed at more than 100 exhibitions worldwide, including satellite art fairs of Art Basel, Pulse (Los Angeles and Miami) and Scope (Basel and Miami),[2] Liste Köln during the Cologne Art Fair in Germany and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in the juried show "The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition exhibition.[3] He has also been featured on the front covers of Philosophie[4] and Bl!sss Magazine,[5] and his work is owned by collectors ranging from film director Guillermo del Toro[6] to the Ellis County Bar Association in Kansas.[7]


Kuksi attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Painting in 1998 from Fort Hays State University, Hays in Kansas. He then completed a seminar on Studio Painting at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy in 2001.[citation needed] Kris Kuksi also received a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Painting from Fort Hays State University in 2002.[citation needed] Kuksi has also completed seminars in "Old Masters – New Visions" in Austria and Germany, in 2002 and 2005 respectively.[citation needed]


Kuksi's influences include the Baroque and Rococo periods. He has described how he feels more in belonging to the 'Old World' and that his artwork is very much a reaction to "the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society – a place where new beginnings, new wars, new philosophies, and new endings exist."[8]


Assemblage work by Kris Kuksi entitled A Heroic Abduction
Example of assemblage - A Heroic Abduction, 19.5"x31"x9"

Kuksi cuts and reshapes old objects, small toys, mechanical components and other parts and refashions them into works of art that bear little resemblance to the original appearance. A wide range of materials are utilized, including model parts, wood and metal.[citation needed] The artist describes these as 'mixed media' that are melded by "a flowing composition and visual balance."[8] Kuksi's work often combines images in disconcerting ways, such as "Churchtank" which merges images of religion and warfare.[9] The artist collects material from around the world for the assemblages, with components coming from Ukraine, Germany, Prague, Philippines, Lithuania, Japan and Singapore. Items are either bought in person or delivered to his studio in Lawrence, Kansas.[citation needed]

Paintings and drawings[edit]

Portrait of George Guillaume by Kris Kuksi
Portrait of George Guillaume, acrylic on board, 6"x6", as displayed in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Kuksi has studied with established artists in Italy, Austria and Spain, including participating in several international workshops including "Painting the Fantastic" with Robert Venosa in Italy, "Old Masters New Visions Seminar" with Philip Rubinov Jacobson in Austria and "Painting Dali's Garden", with Venosa in Spain.[10]

The artist's paintings combine discordant elements and suggest an affinity with the macabre and enigmatic,[1] as "images are enmeshed in successive layers of incongruous and bizarre subjects".[1] His paintings and drawings have been described as reminiscent of old masters in their depiction of anatomical creation.[1] In addition, they have been critiqued as incorporating elements of surrealism and displaying 'hallucinatory patterns and shapes deep within the delirium of paranoia and obsessive behaviours.'[1] According to critics, Kuksi's paintings are "either so realistic they could be photos or psychedelic, almost esoteric"[citation needed]

Critical response[edit]

Kuksi's work has been described as "mind-blowing, macabre and beautifully grotesque art…[that] will taunt you by the sheer complexity of detail, leaving you even more baffled as you stare for hours at all the figurines that were smacked into coexistence."[8] In a review of his 2003 solo show in Washington, D.C.'s Fraser Gallery, Washington Post art critic Michael O'Sullivan described his drawings as "masterfully rendered figurative art."[11] The end result has been described as "intricately polarized narratives of the balance between good and evil, left and right, night and day, past and future."[citation needed] Kuksi has featured in more than 100 exhibitions worldwide, including Art Basel, Miami, Berlin, the Cologne Art Fair in Germany and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.[3] He has won a number of awards including the Award of Merit from Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, and the First Place Award from Direct Art Magazine.[citation needed] Additionally, Kuksi has been featured in books on sculpture and modern art, such as "Device Volume II: Reconstructed," [12] and "Spider Pie."[1] Kuksi's work can also been found on the front covers of Philosophie[4] and Bl!sss Magazine.[5] He has sold works of art at auction through Sotheby's.[1] Collectors of Kuksi pieces include Kay Alden, actor Robin Williams, musician and director Fred Durst, director Chris Weitz, director Guillermo del Toro, Nike CEO Mark Parker, and the Ellis County Bar Association in Kansas.[13][6][7]


Kuksi's book, Divination and Delusion (ISBN 0-9803231-3-4; ISBN 978-0-9803231-3-9), was published in 2010 by Last Gasp.[citation needed]

His second book, Conquest (ISBN 978-0-8478-6026-5), was published in 2017 by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc


Kuksi's art has received several awards.[citation needed]

  • 2018
    • MCHF Thomason Award from the United States Marine Corps Heritage foundation
  • 2015
    • Black Sails, Emmy Nomination for main title sequence, Starz network
  • 2013
    • Virginia A Groot Sculpture Grant
  • 2006
    • Cash Award, Smoky Hill Art Exhibition, Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas
    • Juror's Merit Award, Smoky Hill Art Exhibition, Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas
    • Award of Excellence, "8th Annual All Media International Juried Online Art Exhibition," Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska
  • 2005
    • "Who's Who in America: 60th Diamond Edition," published by Marquis Who’s Who, New Providence, New Jersey
    • First Place Award, "Fantastic 2005," Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy
  • 2003
    • Award of Merit, "Brave Destiny: Grand Surrealism Exhibition," Williamsburg Art and Historical: Center, New York, New York
    • First Place Award, Direct Art Magazine, Slowart Productions, New York, New York
  • 2001
    • "Angel of the Arts Prize," St. Louis Artist’s Guild, Clayton, Missouri


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Alyssa Sturgill (May 2005). Spider Pie. Raw Dog Screaming Press. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-1-933293-05-9. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  2. ^ "7th Annual Pulse Miami Contemporary Art Fair". Tibetan Art Studio. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  3. ^ a b "Kris Kuksi | The Outwin: American Portraiture Today". Retrieved 2019-01-18.
  4. ^ a b "Le XXI siècle sera-t-il religieux?". Philosophie Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  5. ^ a b "Bl!sss Magazine November 2011". Bl!sss Magazine. Archived from the original on 2011-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  6. ^ a b "Art Platform L.A. Fair Los Angeles". Shcroeder Romero & Shredder. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  7. ^ a b Bar Association of the State of Kansas; Kansas Bar Association (2003). The journal of the Kansas Bar Association. Bar Association of the State of Kansas. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Majzoub, Maha (October 2011). "Reuse, Amuse + Bemuse". Issuu. p. 24. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  9. ^ Majzoub, Maha (October 2011). "Reuse, Amuse + Bemuse". Issuu. p. 27. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  10. ^ "The Arts". Hays USA. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  11. ^ O'Sullivan, Michael (May 2, 2003). "A Gander at the Galleries of Georgetown". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ Majzoub, Maha (October 2011). "Reuse, Amuse + Bemuse". Issuu. p. 27. Retrieved 2012-01-24.

Further reading[edit]

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