Few days ago, I discovered at the Armory Show the beautiful work of Finnish artist Kim Simonsson and his intriguing Fairytale Moss ‘creatures’. I love how he photographed them in nature giving the feeling that they’re alive. Simonsson is represented by Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki and has a few pieces at the Armory Show in New York right now (until March 12th).
With references to fairytale characters, manga films and computer games, Kim Simonsson´s (b. 1974) sculptures are very distinctive. Simonsson portrays magical little figures with black eye sockets, covered with a layer of what appears to be moss. These dreamy figures are a touch gruesome, yet simultaneously fragile and frail. The handmade ceramic stoneware sculptures are encased in a layer of nylon fiber in a nearly fluorescent shade of green. For the exhibition at Galerie Forsblom in Stockholm, Simonsson has also created glazed sculptures with a gold and platinum sheen, as well as a bronze sculpture.
The sculptures all share an appearance that is solitary and a little sad, tinged with a sense of uncertainty. Who are they, and where are they going? In folklore, the moss people are described as helpful to people such as farmers, with an ability to cure diseases. They may borrow things from people occasionally, but always return them with a good advice or a gift, which should be received with gratitude to prevent them from becoming angry. The moss sculptures Simonsson depicts are frozen in position, yet also heading somewhere. As the exhibition title reveals, they are ‘Treasure Hunters’: they carry something that is precious.