“The work in Moss People is bold in color and symbolism. The life-size sculptures occupying the dark space make it clear that you are a visitor in their world. Many pieces like Sleeping Mosswoman With Ghosts skew conventions of power, making innocent characters like children into quiet rulers.” — Justin Crowe, Writer and Director of Operations at cfile.daily.
HELSINKI, Finland — The above quote comes from our last encounter with Finnish sculptor Kim Simonsson, when the artist was exhibiting Moss People at Jason Jacques gallery (New York, Oct. 8 – 28, 2015). Simonsson recently wrapped up an exhibition at Galerie Forsblom (Helsinki, March 11 – April 4, 2016), Little Prince and Moss People. As you can guess from the title, other works were presented alongside the Moss People sculptures. This is interesting because, as you will see, the two series of sculptures are steeped in their own narrative. They dialogue like a meeting of two alien civilizations in a sci fi epic. The sculptures depict children, putting us in the mind of Little Nemo, Peter Pan or, of course, The Little Prince. They look like the realized imaginations of girls and boys at play.
Little Prince and Moss People is a series of ceramic sculptures by Kim Simonsson (b. 1974) portraying denizens of a parallel reality. Wearing voodoo masks, his feathered creatures are members of a tribe blessed with the power of flight. The all-white boy represents the figure of the Little Prince, who dons a helmet as he embarks on his phantasmagorical adventures in outer space. The huddle of hand-crafted moss people creates a stark contrast to the pure white sculptures.
Simonsson electrostatically transfers nylon fiber to the surface of the sculptures, where it forms a layer resembling moss. The sculptor’s touch is visibly imprinted on the surface, creating dappled effects as the light catches in the moss-like folds. The nylon fiber and hand- crafted effect add new dynamism to the customarily smooth, glazed surface of Simonsson’s sculptures. Some of his sculptures are encrusted in a cauliflower-like surface; others are decked in feathers. Simonsson renews the traditions of ceramic art by combining the vocabulary of classic marble sculpting with computer games and other elements of popular culture. This is the first exhibition to also feature a bronze sculpture by Simonsson.
Kim Simonsson graduated as a ceramics major from the University of Arts and Design in 2000. He was chosen as Finland’s Young Artist of the Year in 2004. He is an internationally active artist whose works are found in Finnish and foreign collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Simonsson lives and works in Fiskars.
Text (edited) and images courtesy of the gallery.
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