The Estonian artist Kris Lemsalu creates sculptures, installations, and performances that fuse the animal kingdom with humankind, nature with the artificial, beauty with repulsion, lightness with gravity, life with death. She combines animal bodies and porcelain objects with found (natural) materials such as furs, leather, seashells, wool, or paper in theatrical installations that whisk us off into a world of the fantastic imagination. Endeavoring to erase any distance between herself and her objects, the artist also uses her installations as stages for performance pieces in her sculptures become an integral part of her attire.
Although Lemsalu’s work often broaches dark and raw themes, it feels fragile and delicate, incorporating references to ancient mythologies and rituals from various cultures. In addition to abstract sculptures, her art also includes self-portraits and photographs, many of which depict her as a creature with masculine as well as feminine traits. Combining fabrics, makeup, wigs, and other props, she creates short-lived exotic identities for herself.
Kris Lemsalu studied ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, and art at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.