Why Sharks are More Lethal than Ever in the Sculptures of Christopher Schulz

Artsy Editorial
Apr 26, 2014 3:37PM
Leopard AR, 2014
CK Contemporary

In Christopher Schulz’s recent works, nature meets technology and weaponry in slick, surrealist forms. His new series of polished stainless steel sculptures are ironic, hybrid objects that conflate sharks and firearms. Lethal and gleaming, they are cast in marine-grade stainless steel, a high quality material known to maintain a glossy finish over time. There is a softness to the contouring of the figures, which lends a futuristic, sci-fi feel to the works—almost as though we are witnessing a gun transform into a shark—while their polished surfaces reflect the environment around them, contributing to their slippery allure.

Though somewhat absurd in concept, the visual correlation between these two objects makes for surprisingly poignant works; the fins of the shark align like the sights on a rifle barrel and, just as these alpha predators dominate their territory, so do those who wield weapons. Whereas the shark’s nature grants it a position of power, though, the gun operator claims control by triumphing over nature.

Each work is moderate in scale, like Blue AK (2013), which, at just under four feet in length, is the size of a small shark. The larger Tiger MG3 is slightly more imposing, measuring close to six feet in length—still small enough to maintain a sort of preciousness that might be lost on grander proportions. Possessing tremendous magnetism, Schulz’s fierce forms draw viewers in, irresistibly. Invoking two entities that inspire awe and fear, and merging them into one form, Schulz asks what the future may hold in a world where nature seems increasingly subject to our urge for control.

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Artsy Editorial