Week 11-Artist Interview-Jerry Pena & Kyle Kruse

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The gallery that stood out to me this week was the one located in the Merlino Gallery, created by Jerry and Kyle. They said that they got their inspiration from where they grew up and where we live now. Jerry grew up in North Long Beach and Kyle grew up in San Francisco. The design of this gallery was interesting because they had various sorts of works along the walls including: graffiti, pictures, paintings, a board in the back that was uniquely created, bumpers from cars near the entrance of the gallery, spray cans above your head when exiting, and trash along the floor to evoke a certain feeling and create the environment.

When creating their pictures, they used all different forms of printmaking, and nothing that was in the gallery was their old work. Jerry and Kyle initially had to take all of the intro art classes and art history courses before getting to do what they do now. While they were going through that process, they were pressured to create more traditional work, and were always trying to become better and be better than others. That competitiveness led to them working together and now, since they are more established artists, their work has branched off into what they really want to create. While they were sitting, they were working on something called time-lapse drawing. This is where you draw an object from different angles and different lighting to really understand the composition of that object.

Going through this gallery brought me back to week 2 of our class when we were just getting started with graffiti writing. I remember how tough it was for me to just draw my name with spray paint, so when I saw their drawings, I was amazed and had more respect for them. Jerry and Kyle mentioned that their main goal is to be represented by a gallery, where they actually pay you to make works of art for them to display. They are really enjoying what they’re doing right now, but it comes with a big risk if you don’t make it. They said, however, that anything is worth it, including this, as long as you are passionate about it and are willing to stick it out through all of the tough times.

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