Reuben Kern

Reuben Kern is beginning with a deep, heart-felt inventiveness.  Somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind, half-monsters hatch, and jump out onto the ground, grubby little things with larger-than-life personalities, grinning, grasping, groping, grumbling, arguing or simply, undemonstratively, gathering mould. One rattles keys.  Where they come from, no-one knows, least of all the artist himself, who names them, apparently, after they appear – Woman with an Empty Womb, The Nervous Foreigner and Man with Ideas and No Money (we all know him) – he couldn’t, surely, name them before.  These are real imaginative manifestations, wrought with wriggling fingers out of scrap, bent wires and modelling materials. Nothing is pure.  But then life isn’t.  Kern, an only child brought up on the outskirts of  Knoxville, Tennessee, suffered panic attacks that threatened his heart. Between 16 and 18 he barely left the house. Then he found a little figure he’d made as a kid, out of a bit of sacking and a bird’s skull with two seeds stuck on for ears.  He began to make sculptures out of old junk lying around in the yard, picking up from where he’d left off as a child, taking himself on an imaginative journey through which he explores the nature of what we call normality.

For more information please visit Reuben’s website: www.reubenkern.com

The Broken Wheel, 2008,

animal bone, metal comb, copper, wood, fabric, wire, sculpted materials

8 inches high approx.

Boy Peeing on an Electric Fence 2012

Various materials17 inches high approx.