As soon as I stepped into the Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery, I knew that Kyle Kruse’s, “One Who Sees”, was my choice to ask more about. I was intrigued with the size of the fabrics that looked like banners. I noticed how long the fabrics touched the floor and reached up almost touching the ceiling. I then realized that the size of the fabric gave its image, the jester, a human presence because they were human sized. The banners were stamped in colors of black, white, dark and light grey. The jester was detailed in the ruffles of the clothing patterns. My favorite part of the jester is the mask. The mask was shaded in black and light grey giving off a three-dimensional kind of look. I thought the mask was the head of a praying mantis with horns. Later, I found out that it is the head of an African Ram. Given that the fabrics were in a circle, and in front of each jester was a small bunch of what looked like shreds of some type of yellow paper like material. In the center of everything was a nest filled with the same yellow shreds.
Next to Kyle’s title One Who Sees, was a description of what his piece relates to. He mentioned, in the beginning of printmaking in the western world, to create alter frontals in places of worship; woodblock printing on fabrics was used as printing. His aim is to, “blur the lines of ‘the viewer’ and ‘the actor’”. And, to blur the presence of who cannot be seen; but, can see others. Usually, people come to see art on display. But, this instillation makes the viewers become the display. As viewers, we are intruding on the ritual; therefore, we are being watched. We cannot act on what is going on inside the ritual. Kyle had always had this idea in his head, and he was now finally able to create it. It took him many weeks and long hours to put everything together. The jesters were printed onto the fabrics using a stamp Kyle hand carved. Everything in One Who Sees is hand made. I appreciate Kyle’s work and for sharing it with my art class. To see more of Kyle’s amazing work, follow him on Instagram at @mr._hook_art.
I felt like I was going to see a theatrical performance, but I was not allowed to see it yet. I had this feeling because the jesters on the fabrics were positioned as though they were guarding something. However, after talking to Kyle, I then realized my interpretation was wrong. My way of looking at it changed. I felt like I was being watched. Walking around One Who Sees, made me feel like I was not invited and the tall masked jesters would all continue to stare at me until I left. That’s when I began to feel a little intimidated. Especially when looking at how tall the jesters were made to look. It made me feel small and out of place. Overall, I enjoyed this piece because I felt that I was able to understand it in the end.