Kyle Montgomery is a Sydney born, New York based sculpture artists who is known for his use of crystals and religious matter. While starting out predominantly creating collage work, Montgomery’s 3D sculptures now sell for thousands, and has been recognised by celebrities such as designer Marc Jacobs and tattoo artist Kat Von D.
Kyle Montgomery’s use of crystals comes from his interest and admiration of the potential abilities crystals hold – which was originally introduced through Hinduism and Buddhism. Many to this day believe that these crystals have powers which can encourage emotional and spiritual healing. He is also deeply influenced by his upbringing as a Catholic, and has said to have always admired the Virgin Mary in particular as she is the Mother of the Earth.
In Catholicism, the Virgin Mary is recognised as a guardian and strong figure to protect and heal. Montgomery’s intention through these sculptures is to combine his idolisation for Mary with the positive and healing ‘powers’ which these crystals may hold. To make these statues, which he began making around 2012, Montgomery searches online auction websites for pre-loved Mary statues which he then carves and reconstructs before adding the crystals. These particular statues can take anywhere from days to years to complete. When asked in an interview of his current religious viewpoint he simply replied “I believe in something”.
“I am very inspired by the unknown of the earth and life, the powers and knowledge of crystals, and the guidance of spiritual beliefs towards nirvana and the afterlife.”
Furthermore, Montgomery explores the topic of afterlife by using taxidermy and his signature crystals. This can be seen in the piece below.
To source these animals, Montgomery will visit vets or even use roadkill in some cases.
He is combining what is usually seen as morbid to create something beautiful and precious.
He recently lost his wife in a tragic accident, and when being interviewed for Vogue, he said that “This opportunity was sent to me from above, from her” – this could suggest his relationship with spirituality concerning the afterlife, a central theme in his work.
It is important to note the controversy surrounding Montgomery’s Virgin Mary statues. As he is distorting the original statue and sometimes covering Mary’s face, many saw this as disrespectful to their religion. There are countless comments on social media in response to the statues telling of their feelings towards this work. However, Montgomery sticks to his opinion of these statues being a sign of admiration and love towards Mary being such an important figure in Catholicism and his own life.