Corlen Kruger - Pleased to eat you!!!

Being sent a piece of work to look at that needs more than one look, is always a bit of a pleasure and something a little off the regular Art Toy radar is also a joy to behold. When I was contacted by an artist from South Africa called Corlen Kruger,  I was delighted as he is an artist I had tracked down recently after seeing some of his 2D work earlier this year.

Corlen offered me the opportunity to review one of his new Zombie busts and said he would get something in the post as soon as he could. The Zombie bust arrived a couple of days ago and the first thing that catches my eye is the artwork on the box. There are MANY many clever words to describe the artwork on the box I am sure, but basically I think it’s retro and cool and that’s where I am going to stay for now - you make up your own mind how you want to describe it. The first of the Zombie heads Corlen sent (which is the one which ships in the box usually, there was another one in this box...more on that one later) is around 22cm (9” ish) tall and is totally hand made, the section below describes in the artist's own words the process of creating his Zombie heads.

“I sculpt them in Casteline wax for maximum detail, then make a silicone mold and they are then shell casted in F16 urethane resin to capture all the detail. The core of the sculpt is filled with polyurethane expandable foam, to give its light weight but still make it strong and rigid. I then paint them with acrylics and seal the paint job with artists spray varnish , the gloss of the eyes, teeth  and wounds are done with clear epoxy mixed with resin pigments. The base is a Forex foam board and a UV printed black acrylic base plate to finish off the piece.” This Zombie is a stunner and the work the artist has put into the piece is quite remarkable, when you consider the price he is charging, how long this price will hold when people realise the quality and originality of these pieces is anyone's guess but I would suggest buying soon if you can. This piece also feels good in the hand (which is important to me, I like to fondle my art) and the light weight comes as a surprise compared to other pieces a similar size - which is a consequence of the process the artist uses to create these pieces.

The next piece Corlen sent me to look at is a “Mini Sculpt Office Zombie Bust” - which for the Art Toy market is a bit more regular fare coming bagged (15cm - 6” high) with a stunning custom header card. Being who he is this guy understands intuitively the right points to strike for a Zombie sculpt with a sense of humour while retaining the chill factor. His traditional 2D work is regularly inspired by a fusion of retro, comics and grindhouse and that has translated over very well to his latest 3D sculptural work.

This piece is funny and has some real pedigree to the sculpt and the paint work. To be honest I have been a bit zombied out over the past few years and a lot of the Zombie work I see leaves me completely ambivalent, but this guy’s work has something else - and I think I know what it is. Over and above everything else Corlen Kruger’s work is really REALLY eye catching and DAMN funny.
The execution of the pieces he sent me for review is incredibly slick and professional and I see no reason that the work he has planned in the future will be just as slick and desirable. There is more planned and if you're a fan of shlock movie horror and like your Art Toys with a little something out of the weird cupboard, then Corlen Kruger is an artist you need to keep an eye on. - Taken from his website - “Corlen wears his love of crazy ‘exploitation’ and schlock-horror cinema on his sleeve, and its influence on his sumptuous work is clear”.

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