KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel


KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Neon colours and bright stripes cover these crucifixes by artist Stefan Strumbel from the Black Forest in Germany.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Strumbel presented them as part of a solo exhibition at Circleculture Gallery in Berlin until last week entitled Home Sweet Home.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Photographs are by Oliver Rath or Sarah Davies.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Here's some more information from the gallery:


OPENING: APRIL 29, 2010 7 - 9.30 PM / / EXHIBITION: APRIL 30 - JUNE 10, 2010 // TUE - FR, 2 - 6 PM / SAT 12 - 6 PM

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Circleculture Gallery presents Stefan Strumbel’s solo show “Home Sweet Home“. With his art, Strumbel uses traditional motives that are associated with his origin, the Black Forest. On an abstract level, Strumbel deals with the paradigms of “home“ and simultaneously questions its concept.  The exhibition encompasses objects from folk art that refer to the clichéd notions of home, folklore and popular piety: the traditional cuckoo clock, wooden masks of the Alemannic Carnival or typical crucifixes mainly used in catholic households.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

Strumbel exaggerates these objects of popular cult and culture with elements of urban art and pop art. By doing so, he puts these objects into a new, partly provocative context. Significant elements of the cuckoo clock, such as traditionally carved ornaments, are replaced by aggressive motives that stand for violence, pornography and death.  A typical carnival mask from the Black Forest region, such as the “pig mask“, bears a wooden grenade instead of the apple that would be usually expected by the audience.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

At first sight, these objects do not appear disturbing. The wooden carvings are excellently crafted and, with their bright and colorful surface, appear as light and shiny pieces of pop art. Strumbel, however, creates both an artificial and artistic aesthetics with his usage of extreme exaggerations in regard to form and content. His objects simultaneously provoke and attract the audience by decadence and violations of taboos.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

With his art, Strumbel initiates a change in social values: Traditional ideals, clichéd notions of home and the reality of the individual are dissolved and transformed into an aesthetics that becomes an allegory of social status symbols. The artist unmasks the mechanisms of a society that is urged to the pursuit of consumerism by having surrendered to the attraction of the media. With his objects, Strumbel creates a world of illusion that reflects society’s real maladies.

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

The construction of “home“ becomes a metaphor for existential questions: How do I define home? How do I perceive my inner and outer self? How do I define myself?

KRUZIFIX by Stefan Strumbel

See also:


Celebrating the Cross 1
by Humans since 1982
Tamayo Museum by Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG More design stories

Posted on Tuesday June 15th 2010 at 5:29 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • ferran10

    The same artistic intervention with Moslem icons had supposed to be Condemned to death to the artist. this is the test that in Europe we have open mind, no as close as muslims.
    i’ve said.

  • Pablo

    The meaning of cross is quite serious…
    I don´t like see Jesus in a pink or yellow, i don´t understand.
    Somethings ( religious symbols) can´t be touch or covered by paint.

  • Mr. NG

    I think Pablo is right.

  • modular

    I wonder if this guy has balls big enough to do the same thing with muslim-related symbols!!!!!!!

    Mr. Strumber, I dare you to do this!!!!! Or are you afraid and only accept “easy challenges”?

  • Xin

    I agree with all of you. This is shallow.

  • Guiles

    Agree, agree, agree…about time we as artist respect religious symbols and leave the ‘I’m sooo cool I mock religious icons’ cliche….

  • JP

    …playing too lightly with religion is in my opinion a rather dangerous move. Or the artist has been really ingenious or his only intention is media attention… Stereotyping Jesus Christ is so overdone and I think it’s really time to move on! try something new for once…

  • I think the art is made by itself, express by itself and interpretate by others, so taking popular icons, just to make a scene and say is a pice of art is banal, shamless, mediocre, and without scense, there are other ways to bring some atention, leave the art alone!!!!!!

  • paul

    While these appear more kitsch than having any ability to “initiates a change in social values” what’s with all of the weird annoyance? I’m still not entirely clear the interpreted blasphemy of Jesus being painted in bright pink on a mint and pink cross? Please, do tell, where in the Bible does it dictate the specific renderings that can be done of the deities? The cross must be just so and the flesh tone just right? Considering the amount of times I’ve seen Jesus rendered as nothing short of aryan, incorrect representations have a longer history than this.

    Also, “I wonder if this guy has balls big enough to do the same thing with muslim-related symbols!!!!!!!” Really? Considering the artist is apparently pulling from his own background, Christianity probably had more of a role than other religious beliefs.

    Finally, what’s with the Islamophobia all over these comments? Be annoyed with the artist’s use of Christian iconography, fine. But to seriously try and then somehow turn this into hatred for people of the Muslim faith is ridiculously stupid.

  • Shane

    I love it! It makes something as lame as religion cool. I’d actually hang anyone of those on my walls.

    And for all you tools who seem to be offended… magic isn’t real, get over it.

  • Shawn

    Get over your religion already…

  • olivia

    I love how much this is going to make people mad

  • jehan

    ooh cool! i love colorful jesus! much better than sad, drab jesus. btw, religion shouldn’t be off-limits to art or to scientific inquiry. get over yourselves.

  • Tom Ford

    Oh my God!

  • ferran10

    madonna did it first!!!!!

  • bolweevil

    As a man of faith I don’t have any problem with Strumbel’s art. Is Dali guilty of some sort of sin? Andres Serrano got me a little uppity initially, but why? Faith is a personal experience and is between a person and his/her maker. Personally I’m more put off by the gallery’s lack of creativity in their description of his work. Nice work Woes!

  • Marc Antonne

    “I love it! It makes something as lame as religion cool”
    I think is more “gay sad jesus”, not happy face :(
    “Elton John says Jesus was gay”

    This is not new, it have 2010 years
    make it real, to soft, pure decoration….

  • Paul Neale

    These are good, competent pieces of contemporary art that I would expect to see in quite a lot of European and Japanese galleries. They are less challenging than Serrano’s Piss Christ, or even Kostabi’s t- shirt designs for Guns ‘n’ Roses ages ago. Didn’t Warhol say something like that if Jesus had been alive some time in the 20th Century we would all be wearing little electric chairs round our necks? All you young cool people out there get this guy to turn this stuff into wallpaper, post cards, t- shirts, key rings, coffee mugs…and even, little cool objects to wear around our necks.

  • Louille

    As a Christian i’ve to say that i love these “kruzifix” !
    If Jesus had come later… like now, i’m sure He would have been with its time, colorful, electro, adapting His words which do not belong to time but which meaning can be read only trough history.

  • I agree with Shane! These are great. Normally I wouldn’t hang anything as silly as religious iconography, regardless of which fairy tale it came from, in my home, but these are so well put together. Colour choice and placement as well as the linear form of the crosses is captivating. The neon coloured carved christs are also so well done.

  • natasha

    …believe in god and believe in creativity…!!!

  • Michelle

    disrespectful? really?? if this is offending to the religion, what has westerners been doing with putting the statue of the Buddha in restaurants and bars when Buddhists are praying to the Buddha statue?