Artist: Kyle Kruse
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Media: Print making, Fiber, Film, Woodblock
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
It was a great opportunity to get the chance to meet a very talented artist, Kyle Kruse, for this weeks artist conversation. He was really easy to talk to, it was almost like I was talking to a friend even though I only met him that day! He currently goes to California State University of Long Beach School of Arts, majoring in printmaking. Kyle is 23 years old and is in his final year before receiving a degree in printmaking. He was originally from Northern California but never really grew up in one place. This stood out to me because my family also moved from city to city while I was growing up. So, far, he was definitely one of funnest artist that I got the chance to meet. Stepping into the Marilyn Werby Gallery, his artwork completely took over the room.
The Janus Maxim exhibition was insanely eye-catching from beginning to end. His exhibition consisted of three different art pieces with three different subjects; three woodblock carvings, three fiber made masks/sculptures, and three TV screens each coinciding with the object parallel to it. Each was used to present the ancient Greco-Roman teaching myths of Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. What Kruse was trying to deliver to the audience in a very complex manner was an explanation of the Void. “Standing in space the viewer exists in multiple points and states throughout time, life, or the absence of either.” I asked Kruse what caused his interest towards this subject. He stated that it was his constant questioning of consciousness. He did tons of research on not only the objects of the art he created but the meaning behind it which makes it that much more significant. It took him 10 months to create the Janus Maxim. What he was trying to stress through his artwork was an emotional or feeling that we as humans all have felt but yet cannot quite pinpoint or explain.
The second I walked into the exhibit I was absolutely captured by its environment. Kruse did an amazing job presenting the room. The spotlight on each woodblock on the wall and each mask/sculpture was executed perfectly. My initial thoughts were that it was some type of tribal ritual but I was completely wrong. There was so much complexity within his artwork in both the objects and meaning. Getting to know him made the experience even more intriguing. The topic of this piece was something that never crossed my mind before and sparked a great interest in me personally. Because his artwork consists of three different types of art I asked why he does not just focus on one. He simply replied, “If a man has one instrument the sound is not very interesting, the more you have the better the sound.”