Exhibition Information

Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibition: Janus Maxim

Media: film, sculpture, wood, dirt on floor

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: kylekruseart.com

Instagram: kyle.kruse


About the Artist

Kyle Kruse is a fourth year senior at California State University Long Beach. Kyle is currently working on his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Print Making. He plans to graduate this year, and created this exhibition, Janus Maxim, for his senior project. He said he has never lived in the same place for more than year before moving to Long Beach, where he has lived for the past 6 years. After he graduates he said he might want to move to the United Kingdom, where he aspires to obtain his Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Anthropology. That, or he wants to move to New York.

Formal Analysis

Kyle Kruse created an exhibition he titled Janus Maxim. His exhibition consisted of several things, namely the: wooden engravings, the mask sculptures, and the films. The exhibition took place in a dark room, with black curtains covering the doorway so little light could enter the room. The floor also had a thin layer of crusty dirt which was immediately apparent when entering the room. Towards one end of the room were three wooden engravings and three masks place upon stands. The wooden engravings portrayed Greco-Roman mythical figures Prometheus, Janus, and Sisyphus. The all seemed to resemble deformed animals; one a bird, one a mouse, and one a bull. At the base of the wooden carvings that were hanging on the wall, there were three masks, each one based off of the same creature the carvings were based on. At the far end of the room was three TV’s, each playing a different film of a person doing various things with a different mask on in each one.

Content Analysis

Kyle said his goal was to provide a place where people could “take the role of the onlooker”, someone who is in the void, a place between time, life, or the absence of either of the two. The wooden images were there to create an idea of the concept of what life is, and imitations of things that can not be sensed. The masks (or bones and skins) represent the things that could not be reached. The empty space between the masks and the TV’s represented the Void, the area without anything. The TV’s on the far side represent the donning of these masks, and life and humanity.

Synthesis / My Experience

I thought Kyle’s exhibition, Janus Maxim, was very cool. Without even considering the philosophical portion of the exhibition, the sculptures, engravings, environment, and films were all very cool looking. They were also slightly creepy, but that added to the psychological effect it had on me and others. The Greco-Roman theme also appealed to me. I’ve always been a history fan of the Antiquity era. I’ve always enjoyed reading Greek myths and epics throughout my life. Kyle’s attempt to encapsulate the void and how it would feel to exist in such a place was well done. The dirt on the floor and eerie lighting have the exhibition an ominous feeling, one which someone in the void might feel. If they could feel.


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