Artist: Kyle Kruse
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Media: Wood, Video, Various Objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the artist
Each week the School of Art galleries showcase student’s exhibitions. This week Kyle Kruse was showcasing his thesis exhibition Janus Maxim. It happens to be Kyle’s last semester of his undergraduate degree, He walked in the Spring Commencement ceremonies and is expected to complete his degree requirements in the Fall of 2016. After the fall semester is done, Kyle will be a School of Arts graduate, he will have attained a BFA degree in the Printmaking program from California State University, Long Beach. Kyle is from Northern California and has been in Long Beach for 6 years. He hopes to be able to travel to New York and the UK. In his future, Kyle wants to further his education and pursue a MFA in Visual anthropology in the UK. On his downtime, Kylie enjoys rock-climbing, though he mentioned that even when he is rock-climbing his artistic mind never rests.
Walking in the exhibition your notice 3 masks that are set on top of podiums. On the walls behind the masks there are wooden carved frames. The room is dark. The floor is cover with dirt. As you walk you hear the crushing of dirt clumps under your shoes. You also hear the noises that are coming from the three televisions that are set up towards the back of the room. The televisions are playing videos that have the 3 masks incorporated in them.
The exhibition had a lot of different myths incorporated in it. The artist, Kyle Kruse, mentioned how so much research goes into his art work.His art inspirations come from the research he does. Though only the Greek Myths were mentioned, there were other, not as known myths from Scandinavia and Egyptian myths that had a great influence in the work. In the exhibition everything has been stripped from the figures in the film. All that is left is the five senses. The dirt on the floor also was an element to enhance the audience’s senses, as well as the sound that was coming from the videos. The exhibition aims to discover what the void after death entails. The thought of the unknown is what is intriguing, it dictates the way people act and think. For example, when I walked in I felt scared. It has been instilled in me from a young age that the darkness and those figures are associated with evil, yet they could have other symbolic meanings.
My Experience/ Synthesis
I walked into the exhibition with my mind blank and not expecting anything but amazing art work. When I stepped into the dim lit room, I felt genuinely scared. Maybe it was the masks that reminded me of something out of a horror film, the noises that were coming from the videos played on the televisions, or the dirt on the floor. The dirt on the floor threw me off because it was something that I was not expecting to be inside a room. But I have to say that the exhibition was one of the best ones that I have seen. Though at first I felt scared, I loved that an exhibition can make me feel scared. Every detail of the exhibition was perfectly done for the audience to capture the artist’s intent. Also each piece had amazing detail, the wood carving had to be my favorite pieces. There is no question that Kyle is a very talented artist and will amount to create things.