Interview with Kris Kuksi

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A Journey into the world of Kris Kuksi
An Interview with Kris Kuksi by Gromyko Padilla Semper





Many of us have laid our eyes at and admired the majestic works of the master Visionary Kris Kuksi...But very few of us had the oppurtunity to talk with him, or even chat with him...He appeared in our generation as a totem of hope that "surrealism" never died!!!

and he personally declared that: Surrealism will never die. It is a part of the human mind to be engaged with surreal thoughts and visions.

In his website the Introduction stated clearly what Kris Kuksi is about:

Kuksi’s art speaks of a timelessness–potentiality and motion attempting to reach on forever, and yet pessimistically delayed; forced into the stillness of death and eternal sleep. He treats morbidity with a sympathetic touch and symbolizes the paradox of the death of the individual by objective personification of death. There is a fear of this consciousness because it drops in upon us without mercy, and yet there is a need to appeal to it in order to provide a sense of security, however deluded that sense may be. Kuksi’s art warns us that this appeal is irrelevant, and that we should be slow to create a need for it. His themes also teach us that although death may pursue us arbitrarily, we should never neglect to mourn the tremendous loss of individual potential.*

*<courtesy of>

And we couldn't help but Agree!!!

his Art is timeless and yet it speaks to contemporary culture...with his use of gothic and baroque imagery married with an ever imaginative surreal vision, Kukis's pieces shall cast an ominous riddle on our minds, the eternal question about who we are, what are we, where are we going...and this Kuksi heralds in his works!!!


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 much-older brothers and an absent father. Open country, sparse trees, and alcoholic stepfather, perhaps paved the way for an individual saturated in imagination and introversion. His fascination with the unusual lent to his macabre art later in life. The grotesque to him, as it seemed, was beautiful. Reaching adulthood his art blossomed and created a breakthrough of personal freedom from the negative environment experienced during his youth. He soon discovered his distaste for the typical American life and pop culture, feeling that he has always belonged to the ‘Old World’. Yet, Kris’ work is about a new wilderness, refined and elevated, visualized as a cultivation emerging from the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society. A place were new beginnings, new wars, new philosophies, and new endings exist.


In personal reflection, he 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), and Chris Weitz (movie director The Golden Compass & American Pie).*

In an attempt to get to know him more better and much more plainly and simply i gathered my guts and approached KK via the social network facebook...i sent him a message and he galdly responded...we shared some long and witty chat messages with each other, and being an avid fan of his work i was curious to know more of him so i decided to ask if he will be willing to do an interview...he complied, and this is the result of that...

It is really my priviledge, or must i say Honor to have been given the oppurtunity to be able to interview him.. Kris Kuksi is truly a Modern Master of our Age.. With patience, perseverance, and Genius, KK is destined to be one of our era's greats!!!

With that in consideration, im glad to have been able to know him, even if by cyber means thru the internet...perhaps one day our paths will cross

In the meantime I want you all to read and learn from what he has to say...

enjoy the words and works of KK!!!


Gromyko Semper: Hi Master Kuksi, let me say that it is a huge priviledge and honor to have this interview with you...

KK: Thanks and i really appreciate it...nice:-)

Gromyko Semper: Let us begin then...

KK: Go on:-)

Gromyko Semper:Can you Tell us something about yourself, your background and how you began to recognize your talents.

Kris Kuksi: Ever since I was very young I always drew pictures or occupied my time with being creative. I had realized that I could out-draw all the other kids in grade school, so I was gaining some pretty good confidence in my early years. And that eventually went on to be recognized by several teachers that placed me in upper level art classes.

GPS: When did you first become interested in sculpture/painting/drawing?

KK: Drawing is what I did for the first several years of my life, then around age 12 I got into painting and went off to college and got two degrees in painting. And yet the sculptures didn't really start until 2004, although I have done a few in the mid 90's for fun.



GPS: Where did you draw inspiration in creating your ART?

KK: Inspiration for me is derived from the Baroque and Gothic style architecture and I try to marry that with the modern world of industrial structures and design. But overall there is social commentary that I am after and so I do draw a lot of ideas from society and philosophy.


GPS: Looking deeply in your Art, can you tell us what is it you wish to impart or share with the viewers? The meaning/message of your works?.

KK: That mankind is sometimes not so kind. That we should really look at ourselves and see that we are who we are and that includes the not so nice things. But we should at least see ourselves and those who can change our behaviors for the better.


GPS: Can you give us a glimpse on your work methods, how long does it take your works before being done, and some alchemic secrets in the craft?

KK: Well, I start with sketches and ideas that randomly appear and then proceed to find ways to bring about the vision with all the parts I have. I use mostly model kit parts and various collectables to achieve what I must. There is a lot of reshaping and cutting and fine tuning of every single part to get the exact look I'm after. There is a phrase called "Kit-bashing" in fine scale modeling that comes close to it. But no, I don't use any such alchemic methods...but I'm open to the idea!


GPS: Which of your works could you consider a masterpiece and why?

KK: Hmmm...I think most of them are masterpieces. I don't know if I have a real favorite but I certainly like "An Opera for the Apocalypse" and "A Tribute to the Madness of Beethoven". These works capture a mood, emotion, or even a rhythmic quality that make them timeless. And it is interesting that they both deal loosely with music and composers.



GPS: What can you say about the current sate of the ARTS, particularly the surreal/fantastic/visionary genre, and how your art relates or communes with this?

KK: Surrealism will never die. It is a part of the human mind to be engaged with surreal thoughts and visions. Certainly I believe that I have contributed to this genre and given a whole new aesthetic to sculpture and design. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the future and how my work will morph and develop.


GPS: Do you think you are confident with the current state of your works? I mean is there more to learn for a master such as yourself?

KK: There is always room to learn. I accept challenges as often as I can. Surely there are many more ideas to be explored and many years to invest time and effort in doing so. But hopefully life will pave a way for me to to do so until I die.


GPS: What can you advise aspiring artists, such as myself with regards to creating ART?

KK: Never give up and always stay true to your ideas and feelings. Don't copy others, stay focused and mentally clear. And again, never give up.

The Imminent Utopia

GPS: where is Kris Kuksi going now?

KK: Off to bigger and better things...with a few modest sized works in between.

GPS: Any final message my friend?

KK: To those reading this, don't let yourself down, don't be a victim in any way to others or yourself, and relax and make art. Don't place anyone or anything on a pedestal, because we artists like to do that, and again-never give up!



Complete CV:

Curriculum Vitae

    Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, April 2010
    Scope Art Fair, Basel Switzerland, June 2010
    “Scope Art Fair”Art Basel, Miami, Florida, December (Group)
    “Beast Anthology”Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, New York, November (Solo)
    “Steampunk”Museum of the History of Science-Unversity of Oxford, Oxford, England, October-February (Group)
    “The 13th Hour”Last Rites Gallery, New York, New York, October (Group)
    “Carnival of Fires”Gallery 5, Richmond, Virginia, October (Group)
    “The Blab Show”Copro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, California, August (Invitational)
    “Kansas Master’s Invitational”Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, Kansas, August (Group)
    “Monster?”Copro-Nason Gallery, Santa Monica, California, July (Group)
    “Summer Group Show ‘09”Stolen Space, London, England, July (Group)
    “Divine Invasion”Meta Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, May-June (Solo)
    “Overdose”Copro Nason, Santa Monica, California, April (Group)
    “Scope”Art Basel-Miami, Miami, Florida, December (Invitational)
    “Imminent Utopia”Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, New York, November-December (Solo)
    “New Works”Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, October-November (Invitational)
    “The 13th Hour”Last Rites Gallery, New York, New York, October-November (Invitational)
    “Mapmakers”Meta Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, September-October (Invitational)
    “Paradise Lost”Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, New York, September (Invitational)
    “Locked and Loaded”Joshua Liner Gallery, New York, New York, April (Invitational)
    “Art Basel-Miami”Miami, Florida, December (Invitational)
    “Illusions of Reality”Strecker-Nelson Gallery, Manhattan, Kansas, September (Invitational)
    “Salon Macabre”Strychnin Gallery, New York, New York, July (Invitational)
    “Cologne Liste”Cologne Art Fair, Cologne, Germany (Juried)
    “Four Play”Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April-May (Invitational)
    “Oblivion”Strychnin Gallery, Berlin, Germany, April-May (Invitational)
    “Dark Hearts and Broken Vows”Strychnin Gallery, New York, New York, February (Invitational)
    “Winter Faction”Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January (Invitational)
    “Faculty Art Exhibition”Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, Kansas, December (Invitational)
    “Be Angel, Strange”Grand Palais, Salon Comparaisons 2006, Paris, France, November (Invitational)
    “Be Angel, Strange”International Fantastic Show Chimeria 2006, Sedan, France, October-November (Invitational)
    “Up!”Lineage Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July-August (Invitational)
    “The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition Exhibtion”Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Wasington, DC, July-February 2007 (Juried)
    “Flights of Imagination”H.R. Giger Museum-Chateau St. Germain, Gruyères, Switzerland, June-July (Juried)
    “Person to Person: A Group Figurative Exhibit”Strecker-Nelson Art Gallery, Manhattan, Kansas, June-July (Invitational)
    “Old Master’s New Visions Seminar Exhibition”The Alte Stadthalle Galleries, Veichtach, Germany, June-July (Invitational)
    “Contemporary Mandalas”Chapel of Sacred Mirrors-Microcosm Gallery, New York, New York, May-June (Invitational)
    “Inter-dimensional Art Movement”Gallery of the Senses, Seattle, Washington, May-June (Invitational)
    “Smoky Hill Art Exhibition”Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas, May-June (Juried)
    “Non-Representational On-Line Exhibition”, March-April (Juried)
    “Juxtaposition On-Line Exhibition”Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy, March (Juried)
    “8th Annual All Media International Juried Online Art Exhibition”Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska, January (Juried)
    “Annual Artrom Gallery 2005 International On-Line Competition”Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy, November 2005 (Juried)
    “Tetanus”Fahrenheit Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, October-November 2005 (Invitational)
    “Annual Faculty Art Exhibition”Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, Kansas, October 2005 (Invitational)
    “What is Freedom”Gallery of Social and Political Art, Boston, Massachusetts, September-October 2005 (Juried)
    “Old Master’s-New Visions Art Exhibition”Das Alte Rathaus, Viechtach, Germany, July-August 2005 (Invitational)
    “Inter-dimensional Art Movement”Gallery of the Senses, Seattle, Washington, May-June 2005 (Invitational)
    “Fantastic 2005: International On-line Exhibition”Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy May 2005 (Juried)
    “Contemporary Drawings”Fraser Gallery, Washington D.C., February-March 2005 (Invitational)
    “7th Annual All Media Juried Online International Art Exhibition”Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska, January 2005 (Invitational)
    “Beyond Boundaries: International on-line competition and Exhibition”Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy, November (Juried)
    “The Strange and the Fantastic”Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, Missouri, September-October (Solo)
    “Fantastic Visions”Limner Gallery, Phoenicia, New York, September (Juried)
    “Art Visionary Exhibition”Ballarat Regional Gallery, Ballarat, Australia, August (Invitational)
    “Just a Taste”Monarch Sculpture Park, Olympia, Washington, July (Group)
    “Inter-dimensional Art Movement”Gallery of the Senses, Seattle, Washington, May-June (Invitational)
    “The Great Passage”Optic Nerve Arts Gallery, Portland, Oregon, April-May (Solo)
    “Art Visionary Exhibition”Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, Australia, March-April (Invitational)
    “Art Visionary Exhibition”Riddoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier, Australia, April-June (Invitational)
    “Grave Matters”Roc La Rue Gallery, Seattle, Washington, October (Group)
    “Brave Destiny Grand Surrealism Show”Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, New York, New York, September-November (Juried)
    “Art Visionary Exhibition”Orange County Regional Gallery, Orange, Australia, August-September (Invitational)
    “Painting in Dali’s Garden-Seminar Exhibition”Villa Arenella, Cadaques, Spain, July (Invitational)
    “Art Visionary Exhibition”Global Arts Link Ipswitch Regional Gallery, Ipswitch / Brisbane, Australia, June-August (Invitational)
    “Figure Paintings”The Fraser Gallery, Bethesda, Maryland, June (Invitational)
    "The Mythic Quest", May (Juried)
    “Inter-dimensional Art Movement”Gallery of the Senses, Seattle, Washington, May (Invitational)
    “Spring Salon International Exhibition 2003”Limner Gallery, New York, New York, May (Invitational)
    “The Within”The Fraser Gallery, Washington, D.C., April-May (Solo)
    “National Fall Exhibition 2002”Impact Artists Gallery, Buffalo, New York, November (Juried)
    “The Dreamer and the Dreamed”, August (Juried)
    “Artists in Action”Garden Art Center, Lubbock, Texas, August (Juried)
    “Old Masters New Visions”Castle Kuenburg, Reichenau, Austria, August (Invitational)
    “Northern National Juried Art Exhibit 2002”Nicolet Area Technical College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, July-September (Juried)
    “Toward the Within MFA Exhibition”Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Hays, Kansas, April-July (Solo)
    “Fifteenth Annual International Exhibition on Animals in Art”Veterinary Medicine Library, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March-April (Juried)
    “International Drawing Exhibition 2002”University of Hawaii at Hilo Campus Center Gallery, Hilo, Hawaii, January-April (Invitational)
    “Art of the Imagination Exhibition”Cork Street Gallery, London, England, February (Juried)
    “Emerging Artists 2002 International Exhibition”Limner Gallery, New York, New York, February (Juried)
    “Seven State Biennial”Leslie Powell Art Gallery, Lawton, Oklahoma, January-March (Juried)
    “National Oil and Acrylic Exhibition”St. Louis Artist Guild Gallery at Knoll Park, Clayton, Missouri, December 2001-January (Juried)
    “Seven State Biennial”University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Art Gallery, Chicksha, Oklahoma, October-December (Juried)
    “Northern National Juried Art Exhibit”Nicolet Area Technical College Art Gallery, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, July-September (Juried)
    “32nd Annual Smoky Hill Art Competition & Exhibition”Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas, April (Juried)
    “Visions Across Continents”Santa Repararta International School of Fine Art, Florence, Italy, May (Invitational)
    “Fourteenth Annual International Exhibition on Animals in Art”Veterinary Medicine Library, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March (Juried)
    “Emerging Artists 2001 International Exhibition”Limner Gallery, New York, New York, February (Juried)
    “Juried Art Exhibition 2000”Carnegie Center for the Arts, Dodge City, Kansas, November (Juried)
    “Art from Recycled Materials Juried Exhibition”Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, Kansas, May (Invitational)
    “3rd Annual Juried National Art Exhibition”Baker Arts Center, Liberal, Kansas, January (Juried)
    “Graduate Student Exhibition 2000”Garden City Community College, Garden City, Kansas, March (Invitational)


    “Smoky Hill Art Exhibition”Cash Award, Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas
    “Smoky Hill Art Exhibition”Juror’s Merit Award, Hays Arts Center, Hays, Kansas
    “8th Annual All Media International Juried Online Art Exhibition”Award of Excellence, Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska
    “Who’s Who in America: 60th Diamond Edition”published by Marquis Who’s Who, New Providence, New Jersey
    “Fantastic 2005”First Place Award, Artrom Gallery, Rome, Italy
    “Brave Destiny: Grand Surrealism Exhibition”Award of Merit, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, New York, New York
    “Direct Art Magazine”First Place Award, Slowart Productions, New York, New York
    “Angel of the Arts Prize”St. Louis Artist’s Guild, Clayton, Missouri

Interviews and Features

    “The Everywhere Collector”Juxtapoz #93, October
    “Kris Kuksi”Juxtapoz Blog, March
    “Basel Tov”Miami Sun, December
    “Art of the Grotesque”Dark Roasted Blend, October
    “Featured Artist”Eternal Vigilance, July
    “beinArt Interview”beinArt, May
    “What You Don’t Know About Kris Kuksi”Don’t Panic
    Artzine #12
    Hi-Fructose volume 5
    “Direct Art”volume 11, Spring/Summer
    “Direct Art”volume 8, Spring/Summer
    “Direct Art”volume 7, Fall/Winter
    “Direct Art”volume 5, Fall


:iconkuksi: will also be featured in the latest project of :iconthe-surreal-arts:


Mature Content

Imagine The Imagination by nEgoist

Album available at

The book aims to show the variety of contemporary surreal art including 100 works in different media: traditional painting and drawing, digital painting, fractals, photomanipulation, photography, mixed media, sculpture, traditional prints, and more.

The collection will be classified in 3 groups: Visions, Dreams and Nightmares, all this mental manifestation has been the source of inspiration for this revolutionary movement since the 1920s.

The mind gates are open to explore the deepest of the subconscious in this visual dialogue with the “other”, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought.

Editor: Héctor Pineda
Co-editor: Gromyko Semper.
Introduction by: Gromyko Semper
Poetry by: Anthony Mason

Interview by :icongromyko:

Much thanks to Kris Kuksi for his kindness and wittiness!!!

visit KK at his website:
© 2010 - 2024 gromyko
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SRudy's avatar
Sad that he left...