Artist: Kyle Kruse
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Media: video, sculpture, wood
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist:
Kyle Kruse is an undergraduate student at CSULB. He is currently 23 years old. Kyle Kruse is working on his BFA in printmaking. This is Kyle’s last semester at CSULB. Kyle has moved around a lot. He has been in Long Beach for 6 years. After graduating, Kyle plans to move to New York or to the UK. Kyle likes to rock climb and to hike.
Janus Maxim is an exhibition that includes wood, sculpture, and film. The room of the exhibit is dark. Lights are dim and are lighting up the sculptures and wood blocks displayed on one side of the room. There are three circular wood blocks with animal faces on them. On the other side, three TVs play a series of short videos. The animal faces on the wood blocks are similar to the sculptures in front of them.
Through Janus Maxim, Kyle Kruse tried to create an exhibit in which everyone will feel on some basic animalistic emotion. He wanted his audience to be everyone. Kyle wanted his audience to take what they felt upon visiting his exhibition and interpret it in their own way. Kyle Kruse chose to incorporate ancient Roman and Greek myths. He said that he used Roman and Greek myths because it is always taught in schools. In this exhibit, Kyle Kruse is questioning the cycle of human progress. Prometheus, represented by the wood block and sculpture on the left, provided civilization with fire. Sisyphus, represented by the wood block and sculpture on the right, broke society’s social contracts. Janus, represented in the center, is the god of beginnings and endings. While viewing the exhibition, the viewer exists in a void and takes on the role of an onlooker. The viewers watch the future, past, and everything in between.
Looking through all of the exhibits at the SOA Galleries, I was immediately attracted to Janus Maxim the most. I was attracted to the creepy feeling of the exhibit. I felt the creepy feeling as soon as I walked into the exhibit. I think Kyle Kruse accomplished his goal of making his audience feel something. I definitely felt something as I walked through the exhibit. Everything in the exhibit, from the lighting, the videos, the sounds, and the wood blocks and the masks on the sculptures, even to the sand on the floor added to the feelings this exhibit made me feel. Although I did not understand everything Kyle wanted to show through his art, I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit. I felt that it was very enraging and invoked some thought.