Artist Conversation Week 11


Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibit: Janus Maxim

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Media: Mixed

This week Kyle Kruse presented Janus Maxim.  He is a Printmaking major here at Cal State Long Beach. Kyle is on his final semester of his degree. Kyle was a Physics major until he decided to change to an art major. Kyle says that physics was about regurgitating information where as in art he was able to create.  Kyle spends his free time exploring new things. He enjoys exploring the land and finding new places to capture with his mind and art. He also enjoys exploring new horizons like learning new things. Kyle would like to teach at a collegiate level. He would like teaching because that would allow him plenty of opportunities to have intellectual conversations with more artist.

Janus Maxim Is a mixed media exhibit. Janus Maxim consists of fabrics, film, and wood. The floor is covered in a thin layer of dirt that creates a crackling sound when stepped on, there is insidious music playing in the background, and the room is tied together with a dark setting. There are 3 sets of of pieces. Three masks, three wood carving paintings, and three videos playing. Each set of mask, painting, and video represents three different gods of Greco-Roman mythology. The three gods are Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. These three gods represent the cycles of human progress which include life and death.

Janus Maxim is an exhibit about the void between life and death. Kyle stated that the biggest part of his exhibit was to create a setting that would allow us to fully experience the pieces. Kyle’s intention for the exhibit was to create an experience that blocks out everything and only presents what is there, which is nothing but the void between life and death. Kyle was able to do that by controlling almost everything in the exhibit to stimulate our senses. He eliminated the light and even took away the ground that we are use to walking on. He wants us to take on the role of the onlooker instead of being apart of the life and death.

I was taken back by the exhibit when I first walked in. The masks and large circular paintings of these scary looking sculptures threw me off. It looked like a shrine from a scary movie. I walked around and looked at the masks and the films and I started to think that all these pieces were fairly scary. As I started to talk to our artist Kyle he started to explain the exhibit to me and I realized that the exhibit wasn’t necessarily scary I just didn’t understand it. Once Kyle explained his goals with the exhibit I was able to enjoy it more. I also realized that one of the reasons I felt uneasy was because of Kyle’s ability to play with our senses and put us in this void between life and death.


Daniel Puentes


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