For all of you art lovers out there, you need to know about Thomas Kuntz. He’s a contemporary American multi-media artist from Arizona who focuses on creating intricate, dark, and theatrical moving sculptures that evoke true emotion.
Kuntz’ latest effort are eerie animatronic mechanisms that look like they’re straight out of an abandoned theme park, or the nightmare you had last night. Let’s take a look at his work through his Instagram account:
“Topsy Curvy” automaton. This piece was designed to be mechanically simple and elegant. The highest compliment came from pin up master Olivia who posted video of Topsy cranking away in the Catacombs of the Mission Inn at Beyond Brookledge. Olivia’s art is incredible… An honor indeed! #thomaskuntzsculptor #automaton #automatonmaker #Haxanthrobo #pinup #vintagepinup #glamour #macabre #topsyturvy’s
Somehow, I can’t stop looking at this one. It’s some kind of morbid fascination with a figure who is both incredibly lifelike, and also terror-inducing. The automation is so simple, yet this character is seemingly at her wits’ end. Her movements are strained, almost harsh. It’s very unsettling, but I’d also like to reach out and touch her.
These are some further examples of Kuntz’ work:
My mechanical animation sculpture “Levitating head experiment” is on static display at the Oceanside Museum of Art as part of” The Carnival of Astounding Art” this invention is the work of #thomaskuntzsculptor #haxanthrobo #artomicstudio #camsandlevers #carnivalofastoundingart #somnambuland #oceansidemuseum #thomaskuntzmachinist #machinist #magic #oceansidemuseum #horology #magic #automatonmaker #lessutomates #automaten #babytattoobooks #horology #clockwork A video posted by Thomas Kuntz (@haxanthrobo) on
Alchemyst’s Clocktower FIRE!: A behind the scenes test shot in preparation for the Carnival of Astounding Art show at the Oceanside Museum. In the museum no pyrotechnics are allowed but this machine has it built in with lots of other surprises if called upon! It was originally built for my Spiritroom a twin was made for a Client back in 2008. The Tower , four years in the making is currently on static display at the Oceanside Museum…. But will come alive at announced events and special occasions such as the upcoming Art after Dark show in October! Thanks to all who attended the opening night, you made my heart full and I hope you had fun. #oceansidemuseum #carnivalofastoundingart #thomaskuntzsculptor #automatonmaker #haxanthrobo #haxanthrobotics #alchemystsclocktower #pyrotecnics A video posted by Thomas Kuntz (@haxanthrobo) on
It’s interesting to note that Kuntz’ father was a surgeon and his mother was a folk artist/doll maker, because his own work seems like the perfect mash-up of those two things. There is undoubtedly a surgical quality to it. Kuntz studies anatomy and the human condition, how people move through their space, and recreates aspects of his findings with the creative and technical side of his brain. His work also has a wonderfully magical, childlike feeling, it sort of reminds me of figures I might find in an old-timey magic show.
If you’re keen to explore further, Kuntz and his animatronic sculptures are going to be at Weekend of Wonder in mid-September (a three day DIY festival in Riverside, California). According to the website, it’s a jam-packed weekend of workshops, tech demos, performances, food and activities, so I thoroughly recommend checking it out.
How does Kuntz’ art make you feel? Let us know in the comments below.