Kris Cox's artwork has shifted from a meticulously designed process of layering, sanding, incising, drilling and filling pigmented wood putties onto the surface of wood panels; to a slightly looser interpretation of materials and surfaces. The previous series had a visual depth, and a highly finished, smooth waxed surface. His focus was to create paintings that were quietly powerful, contemplative with seductive surfaces, and very much objects unto themselves. Cox's newer work features two series; the first is done in the same manner but with a stronger intervention of distinctly different areas of color defined by spacial break ups achieved by the strong color shifts.
The second series uses the same pigmented wood putties, but with collage elements, beeswax, and asphalt emulsion, this work is much more open-ended. Cox is inspired by metaphoric and non-linear literature. Failure often informs this body of artwork as well as exploration and open avenues of discovery in image making. The concept of conflating figurative elements, text, disparate surfaces, fabric, and digital photos has moved his work away from rigid predetermined images to paintings that evolve through a process of discovery.
By applying and altering materials directly with his hands and a putty knife this series is also exploring the physicality of these materials resulting in a post expressionist art making process.
Cox explains, "In all of my work, I endeavor to make pieces that move the viewer to visually examine the work from distance, and up close, where he/she is rewarded by nuance of surface, by imagery, and by the physical nature of the work: If I am successful there is an ineffable quality that is felt intellectually and emotionally."
"I use the most pristine of clays, Porcelain, which has been wheel-thrown, de-constructed, re-constructed and then fired to vitrification at cone 10. These vessels are unglazed to accentuate the surface quality of porcelain.
All of the applied elements on each vessel, came from the altered clay body of the other two thrown vessels. These elements were interchanged, combined, stacked, and altered. The ‘vocabulary’ of this series of sculptural artwork tells the story of my architectural interests, my interest in the directness of my clay manipulations, the beauty of ‘raw’ porcelain, and finally my reverence for vessels."