Anders Krisár’s work has a veil of mystery. And so has he. The Swedish artist had a very challenging upbringing, and to him creating work is therapeutic. He works both in photography and sculpture and although his work has differences depending on the medium, the common ground is formal rigor. Krisár’s sculptures are embedded with a psychological edge that prompts the viewer to think about the narratives behind them. He mainly focuses on the human body – “one of the greatest mysteries of our existence”, as he describes it – to create sculptures that are formally perfect and highly realistic although with some sort of aesthetic disruption that gives them an uncanny value. 
This formal perfection coupled with the violence of severed heads, detached extremities and bisected bodies give the viewer an unsettling feeling that is both repelling and fascinating; and, above all, thought-provoking. Meet the artist and his vision, and let his work do the talking.
When did you start experimenting with photography and sculpture? What fascinates you of both mediums?
I started photographing with large format cameras in 2000. After about a year experimenting I began my first photographic work, Chords No. 1–17 (2001–2002). I think the sculptural process is harder to master and I begun working with sculpture in 2003. In photography I pick the time, angle and light for the viewer to see something exactly as I envision it. I like how the camera can capture moments and eternalize them. Sculptures are objects in the ‘real world’ that you can engage with physically. I think this medium relates stronger to the body.
What is the main quality that your work always has, regardless the medium?
For starters, it’s well made.
Untitled 2013.jpg
Tell us about your creative process.
I rarely look for ideas but let them come to me. Then, years can pass by before I start realizing works.
Your sculptures are very powerful; they do not leave anyone indifferent. They are embedded with mystery, with a psychological edge. Severed heads, detached extremities, bisected bodies… The contrast between this violent intervention and the pristinely polished casts prompt the viewer to think about the narratives behind your work. Do you believe that the more disruptive the work the more meaning can be inferred from it?
No, in fact I think the opposite might be true. I often believe that the more you add to a work the less can be inferred from it.
Sure. I mean disruptive as in challenging formal aesthetics; work with a somehow unsettling quality to it. It might prompt the viewer to think about the narratives behind the piece...
It really depends on the work. It’s a fine line to walk.
Faulconer Gallery 2016 A.jpg
The formal perfection you achieve coupled with the disruptive elements (hand prints embedded into skin, severed body parts) challenge aesthetics and give your work an unsettling condition that is both disturbing and thought-provoking, repelling and fascinating. The sculptures are perfect formal renditions of the body, and yet they challenge its integrity, thus rendering them an uncanny value (familiar, yet incongruous). What is your relationship with psychology?
I have had a very challenging upbringing. To me creating work is therapeutic.
Twinning, splitting and mirroring are common themes of psychoanalysis. Tell me, is Freud by your bedside table?
I do not study formal psychology much more than the average. I study life, and much knowledge can be gained by being open and attentive.
Why this fascination with the human body? Does this subject allow you to best explore concepts related to the collective consciousness? Do you use real live models?
To me the body is one of the greatest mysteries of our existence, and I feel a lot of people are taking it for granted (myself included). And yes, I mostly work with live models.
Half Girl  in Marble.jpg
Let’s talk about the materials you use. I have seen a lot of fiberglass and polyester resin, as well as polished bronze. Your sculptures are incredibly realistic (they almost seem to breathe, the skin looks like real skin). Are these the best materials to achieve this formal perfection?
 Polyester resin is a great material if you seek to imitate skin. It’s also usually very durable.
Art for art sake or art that challenges the status quo?
Art to help understand life. Life comes first, and then comes art. I don’t believe the opposite can be true.
What are your plans for the future? I cannot wait to see your work in person. Are there any upcoming exhibitions?
I am showing this fall at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Michigan (United States), at the Thomas Wallner Galleri in Simrishamn (Sweden), at the Galleri Örsta in Kumla (Sweden), and at Mobius Gallery in Bucharest (Romania).
Cuirass 2005.jpg
Cuirass  2005.jpg
The Birth of Us  2006–07.jpg
The Birth of Us 2006–07.jpg
Faulconer Gallery 2016 B.jpg
Half Girl 2016.jpg
M 2014–2015.jpg
Torso 1 2013–14 in Bronze.jpg
Torso 2 2014.jpg
Torso 3 2014 in Bronze.jpg
Untitled 2011–12 in Bronze.jpg
Untitled 2014–15 in Bronze.jpg
Half Boy2014–15 in Bronze.jpg