Expanding upon the popular revenge plays of the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras, Parisian audiences in the first half of the 20th century faced graphic, amoral, and naturalistic horror if their theatre-going experiences centered around attending Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol. And though the venue’s attendance waned in the post-World War II years, officially closing its doors in 1962, their frequently bloody exploration of the ultimate fragility of the human condition would become a focal aspect for various other creative movements, from the aberrant obsessions of Japan’s ero guro nansensu to the “torture porn” resurgence of exploitation films, from the weird menace stories in the shudder pulps of the ’30s and ’40s to the comically disturbing imagery of the Garbage Pail Kids trading card line. And it is this same celebration and investigation into abnormality, deformity, and suffering that seemingly inspires the sculptural art of Josh Kimberg‘s American Gross alias, whose work was the recent focus of a pop-up solo exhibition at the Clutter Gallery space that he co-owns.

American Gross’ Gross Negligence

Revealing a fascination with the vulnerability of the human body and the theatricality of its mutilation, American Gross’ Gross Negligence exhibition highlighted the artist’s Penetrator sculpt, which debuted as a stand-alone piece in April of 2015. In its initial form, this sculpture’s main attraction was a pair of spikes emerging through and encompassing the ocular cavities of its ooze coated humanoid face. Having evolved last year into a head that fits on Skull Head Butt‘s X vinyl body, the previously seen profile tends to be the reverse side of this two-faced beast while a more demonic visage prominently assumes the front position. Modified through lotus-like blooms in its Kundalini incarnation, the chakra representative flowers emerging from its chest and eyes, this Penetrator-X form was also employed for a trio of Devilshead renditions, the polyps adorning their hides implying the spiny exteriors of the cactus species they are named after. Predating the Penetrator concept is the artist’s humanoid skull sculpture, the Lepreskar, its mottled exterior adding a particularly grotesque touch to this memento mori. As for the artist’s OctoDunny modification of the popular Kidrobot form, it returns herein with a Hellfire red edition, its transparent surface revealing the taku taku parasite that has theoretically hollowed out the rabbit-eared host to make a home for itself.

Having had its opening reception on Saturday, May 12th from 6-9pm, all works in this exhibition will remain on display until June 1st, 2018 at the gallery’s physical location (163 Main Street, Beacon, NY 12508).

View the gallery’s dedicated page for the exhibition

For more information on American Gross:
instagram (American Gross) | instagram (Dethchops)

Kyle Kirwan's Cacophony Solo Exhibition at The Clutter Gallery
For over 100 years, a concept has been posited that the most consummate composers, conductors, and musicians know how to employ tense silence to express loftier orchestration, allowing anxiety-inducing pauses to become auditory palate cleansers. And for his Cacophony solo exhibition, artist Kyle Kirwan explores a visual rendition of this…
Dulk's Lovebirds polystone resin sculpture from Mighty Jaxx
From an early age, Antonio Segura Donat helped his father to take care of the more than five hundred birds they raised at their family's Spanish country home. Growing up surrounded by them as well as the fish, dogs, and horses that lived on the property, it wasn't shocking that…
Kyle Kirwan's Cacophony
Dulk's Lovebirds
tagged in American Gross