Richard Orlinski is a French artist who has taken the contemporary art world by storm with his bold and vibrant sculptures. His unique blend of pop art, street art, and classical sculpture has made him one of the most sought-after artists today. That’s why we were so excited to have him collaborate with Steve Aoki for ‘Year Zero’, our latest limited edition vinyl release.  In this blog post, we will delve into Richard Orlinski's life, work, and the importance of his iconic Kong sculpture, reimagined as “Punk Kong” for ‘Year Zero’.



Who is Richard Orlinski and what is his artistic style?

Richard Orlinski was born in France in 1966. From a young age, he had a passion for art and studied sculpture at Ensaama  (École nationale supérieure des arts appliqués et des métiers d'art) in Paris. After graduation, he spent several years working as a designer before he decided to pursue his passion for sculpture full-time.

His artistic style is a fusion of pop culture and classical sculpture. His sculptures are impressive with their large scale and feature bright colours that give them a sense of energy and vitality. His work is inspired by the pop culture of the 21st century, which he combines with a deep knowledge of classical sculpture to create works that are both accessible and incredibly thought-provoking.

Orlinski’s sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. He has also collaborated with a range of high-profile brands, including Lamborghini, Hublot, Baccarat, and Swarovski. His work is collected by art collectors and enthusiasts worldwide, and his sculptures have become iconic symbols of contemporary art.


Influences and Contemporaries

Orlinski's work is influenced by a range of artists, including Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Keith Haring. Like these artists, he is interested in exploring the intersection of art, commerce, and popular culture, often incorporating elements of popular culture into his sculptures, such as superheroes, animals, and cartoon characters.

Despite his contemporary style, Orlinski's work is also rooted in the traditions of classical sculpture. He often references iconic works of art from the past, such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace or Michelangelo's David. This blend of classical and contemporary influences is one of the hallmarks of Orlinski's work.

In terms of contemporaries, he is often associated with other sculptors who share his interest in pop culture, such as Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and KAWS. Like these artists, Orlinski is interested in creating works that are accessible to a wide audience, while still maintaining a sense of artistic integrity.


The Importance of Richard Orlinski's Kong Sculpture

One of Orlinski's most iconic works is his Kong sculpture. First exhibited in 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival, the sculpture stands at over three metres tall and captures the essence of the King Kong character in a way that is both true to the original movie and completely unique.

Punk Kong by Richard Orlinski

The character of King Kong is often seen as a symbol of raw strength and power, and Orlinski's sculpture captures these qualities in a bold and striking way. By reimagining King Kong in his own unique style, Orlinski challenges our perceptions of gender, masculinity and power.

His use of bright, eye-catching colours gives the sculpture a sense of energy and vitality that is difficult to miss. Its attention to detail, such as the realistic textures and facial features, makes it seem almost alive. The Kong sculpture is a prime example of Orlinski's signature style, which is designed to be accessible to a wide audience while still maintaining a sense of artistic integrity.

The sculpture has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and collaborations, including a special edition created for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris. Orlinski's Kong sculpture has also been exhibited in a number of art galleries and museums around the world, where it has become a popular attraction for visitors.


Impact on Contemporary Art

Richard Orlinski's Kong sculpture is more than just a work of art; it is a masterpiece that captures the essence of contemporary sculpture. His unique blend of pop art, street art, and classical sculpture has redefined the way we think about art. By creating art that is both accessible and thought-provoking, Orlinski has made contemporary art more approachable for a wider audience.

A contemporary artist who has made a significant impact on the world of sculpture. His bold, colourful sculptures are a testament to his ability to combine classical and contemporary influences, and his work is a reflection of the energy and vitality of modern life.

Richard Orlinski, art directed the collaboration with Steve Aoki and created the original character, “Punk Kong”. 12on12 has bought Punk Kong to life with a range of limited-edition apparel and lifestyle products produced to luxury standards and reflecting the artists’ shared sentiments. With his growing popularity, Orlinski's work is sure to continue to captivate audiences for years to come, so make sure to pick up a piece below and own a piece of art history.


June 05, 2023

Related Products