sense of purpose and meaning
posing for his mother's oil paintings and helping his father build
furniture, Guruhans Kroesen learned about structure, composition
and creativity which later helped his own artistic endeavors.
With parents who moved about seemingly at random, Guruhans went
from New Hampshire to New Mexico, Kansas, Washington, D.C. and Virginia
before landing in Portland.
Translating an image from the mind of Guruhans Kroesen to a 3-D
steel-and-stone sculpture is a demanding process.
of the Real"
"Once the idea is established, I have to design the multiple
facets of the sculpture, like the different sides or a particular
joint," he said.
"I usually start by drafting on cardboard to get the lines
just right. I can't stand a line with any dead spots or incongruities."
Craftmanship is particularly important to Guruhans.
"I want my work to have a finished quality," he said.
"It must be immaculate. This is something that was brought
about by looking at Constantine Brancusi's sculpture."
Inspired by the beauty he sees in nature, Guruhans aspires to perfectly
depict the viewer's relationship with it.
"Also, anything that attempts to put symbolism to divinity
interests me," he said. "I'm intrigued with infusing metaphysical
concepts into my work, using shape and form to create a sense of
purpose and meaning."
The worst thing Guruhans can imagine is a society that erases its
"With funding being cut and schools closing art departments,
I encourage everyone to support the arts in some fashion
whether that's attending ballet, art shows, concerts, etc.; anything
that is creative and grassroots.
"It's those things that create culture," he said. "Why
do so many people travel to France or Italy? For the art."
When Guruhans was eight, his parents, through the influence of their
spiritual teacher, sent him and his brother to India.
"I spent eight years at a boarding school in the town of Mussoorie
in the foothills of the Himalayas," he said.
Guruhans believes the experience helped bring out his artistic
nature through his interactions with colors, forms and culture.
After returning to America, Guruhans finished high school at the
New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. Then he came to Portland
to attend Portland State University.
The hard part
"In school I was always interested in design, but never got
anything built," he said. "I tried architecture but fell
into the same trap. So sculpture was the way to design and build
with little need for outside support.
"I tend to be impatient and want a design to translate from
the idea stage to reality as soon as possible, with the outcome
being exactly as I envisioned."
That's the hard part for Guruhans. Dreaming about sculpture is
easy; he can think of thousands of designs every day. But actually
building the pieces is where the patience and practice come in.
"Attending the university introduced me to the structured
art world and its possibilities or limitations," he said. "It
was a good launch pad for me and influenced how I decided to pursue
The excitement of art is what keeps Guruhans sculpting, and being
able to create whatever he dreams up fascinates him.
Guruhans' work is on display every Last Thursday at the 1627 Studios
on Northeast Alberta. His sculptures are also showing at the Brian
Marki Gallery and Contemporary Crafts Museum & Gallery in Portland.
Last year his sculpture, "Dream," was part of the City
of Lake Oswego's downtown arts exhibit.
"Many people dream of societal ideals, a big house, nice car,
lots of cash," he said.
"I dream of making art, of creating a new expression in the
world original and big.
"I love monumental art. I aspire to make sculpture on a par
with the St. Louis Arch or Washington Monument," he said.
"Massive dreams, for sure."