Artist Name: Kyle Kruse
Artist Tag: None
Link to Artist Website: kylekruseart.com
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Media: Installation, Wood Carving, Sculpture, Film Making, Print Making
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist:
Kyle Kruse is considered a senior but this is his 6th year at CSULB. He actually graduated already with his BFA but came back to do this exhibition which is his senior show. He does plan to go to grad school to further his career in art, specifically what he’s doing now. Some of the schools that he’s considering are Yale, Visual Art of New York, and others. Although these are tough schools to get into, Kyle said he wants to give them a shot because they have good tracks with what he wants to do and they are also unique schools that are supportive and really engage in the artists’ best interests. Something interesting about Kyle is that he has insomnia. When I asked him about his hobbies he said he enjoys rock climbing and going into the wilderness to capture photos. He also said, “I really don’t know what fun is.” He also enjoys reading a lot of philosophical things and many others as well as doing a lot of research. Besides his hobbies, I asked him about his favorite food. He doesn’t have an ultimate favorite food but something he enjoys to eat is curry. He became interested in art in high school when he began to do basic drawings and when he came to college and took the Foundation of Art class and found stuff that he really liked. Art just makes him happy he said. His grandparents also impacted his art career because they had a lot of art collections in their house.
As I walked into this exhibition, I was honestly scared because there was black curtains in the entrance and it was super dark. The music that was playing inside was very suspenseful and mysterious. It’s like I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Kyle explained that what I was feeling was sensations. I was practically unconscious of my reactions and was trying to process it all. The wood cravings were so down to the detail which explains why it took Kyle 10 months to construct Janus Maxim. The colors used were very lively as well. I noticed that behind the art pieces was a circle display with that art piece carved into it. The colors black and tan resemble ancient life. When I asked him about the material and design he said, “I want the audience to navigate it themselves and interpret it into something of their own.” Therefore, I think the design is very colorful and expresses life in general.
The three sets of films, sculptures, and woodblock carvings represent the Roman myths of Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. Prometheus is known for providing humanity with fire as well as the resulting birth of civilization. Sisyphus is known for breaking his society’s social contracts. And Janus is the foundation of it all, the center- the god of beginnings, endings, and what is in between. Janus helps cycle the void, which signifies life going in a cycle . There is a space between memory, reality, and object. We ask ourselves what happened? What do we remember? and Who are we? The wood image represents what life means and what lies further than what we can touch. The bones and skins of the body represent memory. Kyle Kruse helped me understanding the meaning to it all. Life is an endless cycle, we are constantly ending something just for something else to begin. However, the importance of it all is what lies in between and what helps us transition. We are focused on watching the past, the future, and the space between.
During my experience with Janus Maxim, I realized that life really does consist of memory, reality, and objects. Life is also based on a cycle as we are always transitioning into something different. His way of interpreting this through wood carvings, sculptures, and films was a really fascinating way. I would’ve never thought someone could do that but he did. I think his interest in art, reading, and research was really beneficial to this exhibition. It was something different and not practical. It had me really thinking about the connection that these Roman myths hold.
I took a few pictures and inserted a video that I thought was awesome.