Artist Name: Kyle Kruse
Exhibition: Janus Maxim
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Media: Film, Wood carving and sculpture, Print Making
Kyle Kruse is a 23-year-old senior at CSULB who has already graduated with his BFA in Sculpture but has come back to present his senior show. He has lived in Long Beach for about 6 years now but says he is really not one to be in the same city for more than a year. Therefore, he has plans to move to UK, if not New York. He says he loves the idea of exploring so he enjoys moving from place to place very often. If he is able to move out to the UK, he will be pursuing his general MFA with Masters in Visual Anthropology. His favorite dish is curry (which I love as well). He enjoys spending his time learning new things and reading. He states he is not very good at verbalizing things so he enjoys conveying messages within his work for the words and ideas he find too difficult to convey by language alone.
Janus Maxim was presented in a very dimly lit room where three circular carvings framed upon the left wall as three pillars held three handmade masks which I assumed were made to represent the Greek gods he was representing. Each pillar was draped in what looked like animal fur. It was hard to discern whether or not this fur was faux or genuine. He also had three separate short films playing across the room of obscure images and one with what looked like someone wearing one of the masks he had made. The carvings on the wall seemed to have been glossed over for they had a shine to them. Each carving seems to again portray the gods Kruse aimed his exhibition on which were Prometheus, Janus, Sisyphus.
When asked what Janus Maxim, Kruse says he chose those particular Greek mythical gods because, for the most part, most of society has at least heard of them before. He wishes to expand the Western way of viewing art but instead convey it in ways other parts of the world may see it. Janus Maxim was meant to represent pagan religious/monotheistic religions that came before Greek Mythology. Janus Maxim is also meant to convey that there is always a unified factor of what “human” is. These gods were created with a human factor. Although these gods are considered mythical, they contain human-like characteristics. His interest is finding out whatever it is that has held us back from tracing back to what it was like to be truly human before society has taught us to be in contrast to being whatever it means to be “truly human.” We have a lot of inculturation that we do not really know what is going on everywhere else and feeling connected to that. So this has been his goal and hopes to use his experiential sculptures as a way of communicating these ideas.
First impression of Janus Maxim was that there was definitely a emotionally dark feeling to the entire exhibit. I have never studied or delved into Greek Mythology so it was difficult to understand what exactly Kyle Kruse was trying to convey through his highlight on these three Greek gods. The exhibit alone felt very masculine and intense. However, I admired the carving very much. The way the light hit them in the dark accentuated them and really brought out the detailing in each of the carvings. The talent it takes to create something like that is something I envy very much. I was intrigued by Kruse’s desire to communicate through his sculptures because I believe that sometimes there are no words to express a feeling, a concept, emotion, etc.