Exhibition Information:

Artist: Kyle Kruse

Exhibition: Janus Maxima

Media: Mixed media, Installation

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: kylekruseart.com

Instagram: kyle.kruse

About the Artist:

Kyle Kruse is currently a senior at CalState Long beach and is working towards obtaining his BFA in printmaking from the School of Art. After graduation, he plans to continue hi8s education at graduate school. Kruse struggles with insomnia which causes him to have a hard time resting. He uses the time he has doing activities that he enjoys doing such as rock climbing, exploring with his camera, and reading/researching about topics he finds interesting.  He finds living through experience meaningful to him which is reflected on his art exhibition Janus Maxima, which is his degree show.


Kyle Kruse’s exhibition, Janus Maxima, consisted of a side that had dark films such as burning bones and flesh eating and a side that had his wood carvings. Throughout his exhibition, the floor was crusted with damp dirt that created the illusion of actually trekking through a dirt path which added onto the cultish aura of the room. The wood carvings were incredible with the attention to detail it had.

Walking into Kyle Kruse’s exhibition was like walking straight into a cult ceremony area or walking right onto a set of a cult horror movie. The exhibit took Kruse 10 months to complete. His preference of living through experience can be seen in this exhibition as the whole show allowed the viewer to experience the dark and damp feeling of entering a darker reality. The relationship between the room and the videos meshed very well in the sense that all the senses were tied together in order to obtain the full experience of the show overall. From the dirt crusted ground to the crackling sounds from the video to the visuals of the carvings and video content, it all gave way to the dark and cult like vibes given from the show.

Growing up in a Catholic family, the idea of dark cults and things considered to be heretic were things that I’ve been told were evil and bad–thus instilling a fear in me when I face those things. Entering Kruse’s dark and cult like exhibition was an interesting experience for me as I was able to appreciate the amazing art work he did along with having the feeling of fear that I have long been taught to have towards darkness and cults. The mixture of awe and acute fear/discomfort was a new feeling for me as I never before been amazed by something that also instilled fear in me. I was taught to be awed by beauty and was taught that beauty was light but inside Kruse’s show which displayed a dark reality, I was in awe at how the senses were use to fully experience the darkness of the exhibition.