KIM SIMONSSONThe Animal Gaze
Sculptor Kim Simonsson´s (b. 1974) skilful technique turns clay into unique sculptural worlds. In his hands, the material yields into children, animals and sexy women. The sculptures are intertwined, both in a practical and narrative sense, creating the impression of something floating between the imaginary and the real.
The white-glazed child sculptures are dressed in animal pelts. The child and animal figures are fused together, with the animal framing the child, bestowing it with an identity. The limbs of dogs and deer are tied around the children with bows that cling on to the brittle boundary between the imaginary and the real. The children confront the viewer with an animal gaze. "The glass eyes of the sculptures are like the eyes of animals. The gaze is intense - at once watchful and innocent," Simonsson himself has commented.
The children seek refuge among the animals. This refuge also takes the shape of a platinum-coated Guardian Angel III, its arms spread to offer protection of the assembled sculptures. Its mirror-like platinum coating renders the angel invisible and it is left reflecting its surroundings into itself. Yet, despite its invisibility, the angel remains very much a presences in the imagination.
In addition to platinum, yellow gold is used in two of the pieces to provide a contrast to the white glazing. A little boy stares intently at his hand, where a golden fairy rests. He is projecting all his dreams into that small iridescent figure. A bald woman meanwhile destroys the golden dream in the palms of her hands.
A renouncing of the imaginary and the familiar is also expressed by Kim Simonsson´s Amish girl, The Heroine. The Amish are a recurring motif in his work. Here, she can be seen breaking the boundary between the imaginary and the real - a barrier between two worlds.