Visionary Artist of the Apocalypse
Collaborative By N. H. Kox and W. T. Thompson
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Norbert H. Kox
photo by Jodi Wille Dilettante Press
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Norbert Kox was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, August 6, 1945, just hours after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. His childhood was a wild ride. By age seventeen he was an alcoholic. He quit high school and joined the army, where he taught himself to paint. After his stint in the service, he continued to drink heavily while working on custom cars and motorcycles for a living. Kox rode a Harley Davidson and built exotic choppers by morphing Harleys with other motorcycles (see the Ariel Davidson: Demon Hunter).
He ran with the outcasts of society, became a notorious outlaw biker, and was one of the original Waterloo Outlaws, established in Waterloo, Iowa in the early 60's, as an unsanctioned branch of the one-percenter Outlaws Motorcycle Club. By his thirtieth birthday (1975) he "hit bottom" after a bad drug trip. Kox swore off drugs and alcohol and began living a contemplative life style. A vision was the key factor in turning his thinking towards spiritual matters. He gave away most of his possessions, and became a recluse. For the next ten years he meditated, painted, and lived by himself in the woods near Suring, Wisconsin, where he built a personal chapel and a "Gospel Road" with scripture-based messages leading through the forest.
He joined a conservative Pentecostal Christian group. As he studied the Scriptures, his perceptions of Christianity changed dramatically. Kox could no longer belong to any organized religious group; he now understood them to be infiltrated by evil forces. He saw pagan religious practice at the heart of this false representation of Christianity.
In 1985, he entered study at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. When the professors saw his work they marveled. They told him that he was an Outsider Artist and a Visionary, and encouraged him to continue in this direction. Kox began exhibiting his visionary paintings and sculptures with great success in 1988. He took up painting full-time as his way of life. Painting became his personal outlet to revealing the unseen conspiracies of the underworld. His Apocalyptic Visual Parables sound a strong warning against the counterfeits and dupes of modern Christianity and other world religions and philosophies.
Like the paintings of Matthias Grunewald and Hieronymus Bosch, Kox's images can be extreme and disturbing. In 1976 Kox began 'Blood offering: Yesu Christ the Sacrificial Lamb.' His purpose was to create a painting that depicted the true and brutal sufferings of Christ... He completed the painting (96" x 48") in 1988, and sees it as his first major work as a visionary artist. It was the catalyst for interpreting his revelations and unique spiritual insight with his own sense of compassion.
Characterizing the dark and seemingly endless struggle that takes place in the battle between good and evil, Kox's paintings are filled with jesting reference to the evils of religious debauchery. 'Since the very beginning the Adversary has used his cunning to try to deceive Yahweh's creation, to hide the path of true spiritual light and to lead the unwary down a pathway to self destruction... Each of my paintings is like a book, exposing the tricks of the Evil One, while revealing hidden truths through metaphoric symbols, hidden passages and written text.