Artist Bio: Kjelshus Collins is an Oklahoma-born artist working in traditional printmaking and sculpture. Kjelshus attended Oklahoma State University earning a BFA and a BA in Art History. He spent much of his childhood with his parents selling their art around the country. Never one to focus on one art form, he often combines two different methods to create one piece, like printmaking with mod making to create a figurative piece in the form of a package toy. Kjelshus now lives in New Orleans. In May 2022, he completed his MFA at the University of New Orleans.
Artist Statement: Oklahoma is like your mixtape, time for your full release.”- The Super Sucklord, to me. Lower East Side, Manhattan, Spring 2017, NAEA conference.
In my view, artists are alchemists, mixing together materials much like making a mix tape. I seek to combine fine art with the lowbrow, using elements from kitsch in the spirit of Pop Art and rendering imagery with fine art techniques like relief and intaglio printing and ceramic sculpture (which itself has been regarded as a “craft” material). In doing so, I construct objects through a ritualistic process in which I begin to lose myself to the magic of creative production. Then I release these imbued objects to the masses, selling them through the artist’s commercial venues.
My printwork may be deemed as a satirical yarn on society and the sculptures are the artifacts of this metafictional society. These drastically different genres will often find themselves combined in my world; the casting and the printing become a whole new thing.
I’m a native of Oklahoma, and I identify with the history and the landscape of the place. There and elsewhere I indulge my love of junk shops, souks, bazaars, dig sites, museums, art theft, forgeries, bootlegs, curio cabinets, and toy stores. I’m fascinated by the human obsession with things. And then, I have always liked things like mysticism and prehistory, Star Wars and Vic’s Novelty, consumerism and mass production. All of these things I can brew together in a world-building venture through a self-stylized type of Pop-Brut-faux-kitsch. I work in a heavy amount of esotericism, but at the same time, if you are paying attention, I will make you laugh.
Clay, plastics, and paper are my mediums. Toys, pottery, zines, and other sundries are my subjects. Cargo cults are my muse. While you peruse my suites, keep all of this esotericism in mind and enjoy some late-stage capitalism.