In November's Gothic Art in Spotlight I am going to write about Kim Simonsson's creepy yet witty sculptures. I first saw some of them in an exhibition in Helsinki 2013 and again today in an exhibition in Lahti, which is another Finnish city. That exhibition is open till 18th of January 2015 and Lahti is situated an hour drive or a train journey away from Helsinki. If somebody is visiting Helsinki in near future, it would be easy to go and check the exhibition in Lahti too.
|"Lisa and Louise" just like in The Shining!|
Simonsson is a distinguished artist, he was nominated as the Young Artist of the Year 2004. He has had several exhibitions, for example in the world contemporary ceramics exhibition, "Trans Ceramic Art" in Korea 2005 and a review of his art has been published in the webpage of New York Times.
How to describe the works of Simonsson? Cuteness of the statues is combined with subtle or sudden cruelty. The dark eyes of the statues can start to look more and more maleficent the longer one stares them. There are also macabre statues positioned next to the cute and innocent, like the black pile of dead deer titled "Bad Shepherd". Bad Shepherd was not in the exhibition in Lahti but there was a composition named "Deer Boy". At first those little animals seem to be sleeping but their fur is all worn out and they look more dead to me at lest.
|Not so spooky from behind, I guess.|
|Lighted close-up to show the weariness.|
|As if the boy is suffocating it with his boot!|
In the exhibition a year ago the statues were strictly ceramics with paint and occasional silvered glass. In today's exhibition I saw new sculptures coated with nylon thread. If I understood correctly, electricity is used to make this beautiful green:
The next is one of my favourites, the "Killer of Swan-Snake". As you can see, this small child has ripped off the head of the creature.
I do apologize the quality of photos, once again I had only my phone with me, not a proper camera. :(
On Simonsson's webpage reads that "[H]e combines the innocent with an odd agenda" which I think is a very accurate way to define the statues of manga-like children. There is something estranging in those statues of children and animals.
I think that is also the very essence of today's gothic aesthetics; feeling alienated from the "normal" world and sinking willingly into the estrange.