Jason Jacques Gallery announces “Kim Simonsson: Shaman Party,” a solo exhibition of the Finnish artist’s recent work. On view through November 7, the exhibition marks a return to the gallery for Simonsson with new sculptures from his popular Moss People series, which was introduced in 2014.
With life-size ceramic sculptures depicting innocent yet beguiling child figures, Simonsson leads the viewer into an imaginative, fairytale-like world inspired by the forests of Finland.
“The name Moss People refers to children’s innate camouflage,” explains Simonsson. “The moss green figures blend perfectly into their natural surroundings, just as a soft carpet of moss covers the ground, rocks and tree trunks and acts as a sort of protection. In the Moss People world, lost and disconnected children, evoking different characters, gather in a Shaman Party, choose leaders and end up creating false idols.”
“Kim tells the truth in his work,” says Jason Jacques, principal of his gallery. “Do you find them beautiful? Good! Kim’s gestures are indeed sublime. However, do they at the same time disturb you a little? They should, because there is nothing phony or glamorous here, just truth.”
Selected as one of Artnet’s “Nine Fascinating Objects” at last year’s Design Miami, the Moss People sculptures are the result of a unique technique combining stoneware, paint and green nylon fiber, which gives the figures their smooth and mossy surface. Every sculpture is handmade and created in the artist’s studio in Fiskars Village, Finland. Says journalist Sarah Cascone: “There’s a sense of magic in Finnish artist Kim Simonsson’s ceramic Mossboy sculptures, tiny figures who wear feathered headdresses and are coated in velvet flocking that could almost be taken for the mythical Children of the Forest in Game of Thrones.
“Simonsson is a superb sculptor who uses clay with great sensitivity for his subjects,” adds Jason T. Busch, director of the Jason Jacques Gallery. “He rewards viewers of his work with an opportunity to interact intimately with these fascinating beings.”
Born in 1974, Simonsson studied ceramics and glass at the University of Arts & Design in Helsinki. In 2004, he was awarded the Young Artist of the Year prize by the Tampere Art Museum, Finland. In addition to being shown at the Jason Jacques Gallery and major international art fairs, including TEFAF Maastricht, Design Miami, and FOG Design+Art Fair in San Francisco, his work is held in the collections of major art museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the National Museum of Norway, Helsinki. In 2017, Kim Simonsson published Tales of the Moss People, an 80-page book dedicated to the eponymous series.