Stuart Kusher, master sculptor, works primarily in bronze, combining classical Renaissance style with 21st century contemporary thought. Kusher considers each sculpture in the context of a greater narrative, moving beyond the simple formal aspects of the work. The paradigm of Heaven and Hell, or of virtue and evil, figures prominently, as does the wing, reminiscent of the angel to which it belongs. Hints of religiosity can be found throughout his work and references to skulls (catacombs of the mind), candles (pillars of humanity), and various symbols of mortality and immortality appear throughout as well.
Kusher sculpts without the use of sketches, models, or maquettes, relying solely upon imagination and visualization. Each work becomes a surreal extension of the artist’s mind, intuitively engineered and executed with deft precision. In the words of art critic and writer Shana Nys Drambot, Kusher’s is a “finger-based thought process.” Kusher engages the same labor and time intensive process used by the great masters, the Lost Wax Method. Often, a single sculpture takes months if not years to complete.
Kusher is currently working on “The Gates of Hell,” his most ambitious creative endeavor to date, to be completed in 2-3 years. Each intricate component contributes to his ultimate vision of the gates of Hell, simultaneously frightening, enticing, and igniting the imaginations of viewers. The balance between terror and beauty creates both a visual and psychological impact. “The Gates of Hell” comes on the heels of “Contessa,” an eight foot female bust, cast in bronze with a chemically induced green mirrored finish. Contessa’s eyes lack pupils, seemingly seeing into the souls of those that view her, and, like Mona Lisa, watch and follow wherever they may roam. “Contessa” is sculpted to seemingly embody feminine power, which, on a greater scale, represents the power of the female within society.
Stuart Kusher was born in Brooklyn, NY, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. In his words, “sculpture to me is the synthesis of accumulated knowledge. You can bring life to the inanimate object. It has a soul. It will talk back to you. What I’m looking for is that conversation. I hope other people will share in that conversation with the work. It’s not what it should be, it’s what it could be… In the end, it’s all about the work.”