Artist: Kyle Kruse
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Media: Sculpture, wood, fabric, film
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby- Gallery
Kyle Kruse is a undergrad student at California State University, Long Beach. He is currently in his 6th year at the school and working to complete his BFA in the printmaking program. He started his art career drawing in junk yards and in the mountains. It wasn’t until 4 years ago in college that he decided to take his first art class and has been diligently working towards graduating and getting his Masters. His senior installation Janus Maxim is dark and daring and is one that leaves an impression.
Upon entering the dark gallery room, you feel sand or something of the sort on the ground below you. On your left, there are three large circular, wood carvings hanging on the wall. Each of these corresponds to a fabric mask on the pedestals in front of them. Each mask is bizarre, unique and mysterious in their own way. Across from these on the opposite wall are three tv’s each playing a different scene- bonfire, digging, or a person in a mask in what seems to be a desert.
Kyle does a lot of research and reading when working on different pieces. This exhibition is based off of greek mythology. He was able to develop a sensory experience of the unknown topic to him and relay that to the audience. Kruse simulates the space between reality and memory. Kyle stated that the experience he wanted to communicate are the details which we as the audience we should be thinking about- he did not wish to plant a seed in our heads without us thinking into it.
This exhibition stood out the most in the whole semester so far. I believe that he created an atmosphere that everyone was able to experience on a different level that left a lasting impression. From the gravel on the ground, to the dark lighting, and the placement of each piece throughout the gallery added immensely to the whole experience. I really enjoyed this exhibit and appreciate Kruse’s work because it makes people feel emotions that they do not necessarily want to feel- uneasy, on edge and anxiety.