PORTRAIT: KRIS LEMSALU
Kris Lemsalu’s beguiling works invite viewers into a world both alluring and disarrayed. But behind her seemingly innocent fantasies lies a forest of dark reverie, where it’s easy to lose your way. Bianca Heuser speaks with the artist about her thoughts on naïvety, folklore, and kitsch.
“Aided by furs, ceramics, makeup, sludge, and a host of collaborators, Kris Lemsalu’s manifold, fantastical artwork invokes an ethereal world of spirits – magical and mundane. It often revolves around mystical creatures, many of which are characters played by Lemsalu or her collaborators. In her presentation during 2015’s Frieze Art Fair, the artist hibernated underneath a bedazzled tortoise shell, turning into an otherworldly creature her- self. Surrounded by egg cartons, the installation evoked thoughts of women’s historically domestic roles and responsibilities, while her sparkly shell, perhaps a symbol of feminine creativity and desire, offered shelter... unless it was actually crushing her.”