Ariel Krupnik - Purgatory

Ariel Krupnik - Purgatory
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  • Item #: 500-063
Project: Purgatory
Designer/Artist: Ariel Krupnik
Affiliation: NYC Visual Stylist/Artist

From the pages of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, comes this structure, as imagined by the artist. Depicting all seven levels of Purgatory and its souls that lie trapped in temporal suffering. Dantes Purgatory mountain is an embodiment of developing. The doomed, are forced to be there until a period of acute pain has been achieved equal to their sin. Only then can they advance to the upper levels, in hopes of an earthly paradise that lies at the top with the figures of Adam and Eve.

The idea is that the mountain is a place much like hell, but here, the flames are beige. Our new hell is one of hopeful intent. By cross referencing the seven deadly sins, it draws out this gorgeous imagery most prevalent in Mr. Alighieri’s time; an Italian horror in its first conceptualization. One level sees the gate guarded by a beautiful angel, behind it the contrast, of people carrying large stones on their back in humility. A major component being the visual presentation of punishment; how Dante took something so tragic, and made it divine.

With colors that exude the bleakness of each of these soul’s journey, as well as the mountains earthy tones, the artist had wanted to remain true to what draws people into the story, and do away with the other levels, so as to keep the integrity of the piece interesting to look at. The harsh romanticism; the poetics would only then be the foreground.

Undertaking this project came with its hardships and spiritual growths, much like that of its occupants. By scouring many online specialty stores, and after two months of trial and error, the mountain was complete. Originally envisioned as part of a line of clothes, this scale model is also operational as a hat.

Its maker is a visual stylist/artist living in New York City. This is his first out-and-out art piece.
For more of his and this work, visit

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