ACTOR, PAINTER, PRODUCER… RENAISSANCE MAN
Kris Black has gone Hollywood… or so it seems. Yet, the shy and unassuming kid from Viroqua, Wisconsin, would never lay claim to that. Although he’s been the focus of many a Red Carpet of late due to “The House That Jack built”, Kris Black would rather spend most of his time alone “on my very own island”.
Actor, writer, painter, producer… and soon-to-be, a director, Kris Black is at war… with his face. As the wife of his agent recently said of him, “Kris’s looks are museum quality” (she actually narrowed it down to “his butt”). He appreciates the sentiment, but “my looks have little to do with talent”.
And if you pin him down, Kris Black talks most passionately about painting, and some of his own favorites, reveal a penchant for that craft more than any of the others he’s doing and pursuing.
It looks as if the canvas were alive, as texture and color coagulate to create the illusion of earth and fire. It’s called, “Warming”, an epic painting in size and scope by modern abstract expressionist, Kris Black; and it is as magnetic as its creator, maybe the most indicative of the mystery that is both his art… and heart. One of his smaller works, “Six Million Stars” is at first glance, beautiful and lyrical; but once its inspiration is revealed, the Holocaust, the artist exposes an introspection that reaches far beyond his background and age. “When I paint, I’m free,” says Black. “It doesn’t matter what day it is, or what else is going on, I slip into a world of ‘beautiful mess’ when I throw a canvas down, literally… I do that, or I set it down not so gently… and the bigger the better”.
Watching him arrive for his interview, his stride is precisely what you’d expect from an actor, or writer, or painter: rushed but easy, with his broad shoulders slightly rounded. A baseball cap covers his short, but disheveled hair. And a scruffy two or three day growth only minimally disguises his boyish, mid-West good looks. But that’s on a Thursday.
Kris Black is a man who can’t be read by anyone. The only women in his life he’ll talk about are his mother, Christine, and his sister, Lisa. “If there are any two people that I want success for, it’s for them,” he says without batting an eye. It is only when their names come up in conversation, do his deep brown eyes offer a glimpse into his soul.
Thus, as the subject of a one-on-one interview, Kris Black is a tough nut to crack. Stoic, shy, with no need to impress, Kris is a man of few words when asked about himself. But when asked to answer the questions on a very famous and historical personality profile, his answers are surprising, fast, and richly thought out. Once he answers, that’s it. He does not change his mind.
As for his professional resume, Kris has achieved much since “The House That Jack Built” and his numerous art gallery exhibits.
He followed “Jack Built” with his own, very personal project, “Blood Effects”, which he wrote and appeared in. A fresh and frightening combination of “mockumentary” and horror film, the film goes in and out of realty, often combining the “behind the scenes” goings-on of a motion picture shoot with the actual “paranormal” thriller, entitled “Blood Effects”.
He has also co-written “Five Good Years” with Bruce Reisman, a very special story and screenplay that remains in development. In between, he produced the award-winning feature, “The Misogynist” and has appeared in a number of film and television projects as an actor.
He co-wrote the pilot script, “Mission Thanatos” and is continuing to expand his motion picture agenda to produce projects for Broadwood and as a freelance producer. On the horizon is his other pet-project, the hilarious screenplay, “4:20”.
He returned to the stage recently, taking on the lead role of “Tom” in Bruce Reisman’s new play, “BLANK”. Portraying a “tortured” yet brilliant novelist (inspired by best-selling author Thomas Heggen (“Mr. Roberts”), it was the most challenging role of his career, where he garnered rave reviews for his powerful performance.