Michael Kukla

I draw my inspiration from nature—in particular, the ways in which time relentlessly transforms matter. Taking my cues from various phenomena such as water wearing away stone, insects devouring wood, or wind’s effect on sand, I drill, grind, and carve my chosen materials to arrive at undulating forms that shape space with a seductive pulse. Whether using marble, slate, wood, or most recently, ubiquitous commercial insulation board, my goal is to unmask a solid surface in order to ‘step inside’ an arena of shifting states. I’m in pursuit of a particular dynamism, a visceral sense of inexorable change.

My work invites the viewer to consider organic processes in the context of architectonic structures. In contrast to the hard-edged geometry typical of our built environment, I interject cavities and openings that suggest nature’s more capricious habits. The result is a mysterious cave-like realm, a reminder of our first shelters hundreds of thousands of years ago. In addition, my altered spaces literally ‘poke holes’ in the notions of stasis or permanence. And given the rapid changes arriving with global warming, acknowledging nature’s ways must be forefront in our current thinking.