April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Kruter Popularizes Unique ‘Paint Press’ Technique

Meir Kruter standing in front of three of his paintings. (l-r) The Bostoner Rebbe, The Steipler HaGaon, Rav Moshe Shapiro.

Meir Kruter is known to many as an exceptionally skilled and creative photographer, imprinting the images of his customers’ life cycle events onto the keepsake medium of photography for over 15 years.

Kruter, however, has recently distinguished himself as a significant and rising artist in the landscape of Judaica art, steadily growing in renown and popularity over the past several years.

“I studied photography and communication arts in college, graduating with a degree in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. That background is clearly evident in my fine art, the graphical methodology and interpretation of my subjects as well as my focus on an emotional connection with people, which you will also find in my work as a professional portrait and event photographer,” Kruter shared.

Kruter continued, “My first experimentation with a mosaic style was in a prerequisite class called Color Theory. In other classes at that time I was studying how printed material uses halftone dot patterns and how computer monitors use pixels. Both are methods of utilizing small uniform shapes that, en masse, disappear when viewed from a distance and almost miraculously transform collectively into a clear representation of an image. The first piece I made used a simple grid of single color boxes to make a portrait of a friend. As I also have a love of typography, I challenged myself to add letters to my mosaics to help further resolve my images. That final ingredient allows me to include specific texts within my work that teach us about each subject.”

Meir Kruter presenting Ishay Ribo with a portrait made from lyrics to three of his songs (Acrylic on Canvas and Plexiglass, 36×48 inches).

Over the summer Mishpacha Magazine published a feature about artists and their relationship with dealers and galleries. Kruter shared, “I was interviewed as a primary source, but to my surprise, they shaped the entire story around me.”

Now that he’s beginning to get some international attention and recognition, Kruter said that he doesn’t currently plan for any public exhibits in the near future as he prefers to exhibit privately so people can connect with his art in person. “Most of my following is on Instagram @mkruter and although I appreciate their enthusiasm, I don’t think they really have a feel for the depth of my work. Perhaps a pop-up-show would be a good start.”

In September, Kruter was fortunate to have a private meeting with Ishay Ribo, at which he presented a portrait of Ribo made from lyrics to his songs. “The buzz around that was nice,” he said. Then the next week the Hebrew edition of Mishpacha picked up the article, used his art on the cover, and included a picture of Ribo and Kruter along with his painting.

Absent a studio or permanent space to exhibit or show his works, Kruter shared, “Currently our home is filled mostly with my own work, as it’s the cheapest way of storing my inventory.” He then quipped that “We look forward to selling everything so we may fill our walls with other artists’ work. My wife recently purchased a piece for me by Menachem Weinreb as part of his Amudart series. Like my own work, Weinreb incorporates Torah within his pieces in an attempt to teach the viewer; in his art each piece is a page from the Talmud. I appreciate his energetic, grungy illustrations and look to incorporate a less disciplined ‘street style’ into my own work.”

Asked if he planned to continue painting the same style and subjects, Kruter said, “I think I’ve sufficiently proven to myself that I can tackle a difficult subject matter. The piercing, photorealistic eyes in my paintings are an accomplishment that I’m proud of, but they may also be too intimidating for the average home. It’s time I attempt a pastoral Israeli landscape or a scene depicting the majesty of our Jewish culture. I may attempt a more gestural approach with realism taking a backseat to emotion. Don’t be surprised if I also explore some secular stuff too!”

Meir Kruter standing next to his painting of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef which uses text from the introduction to Yabia Omer (Acrylic on Canvas, 48×62 inches).

Kruter also definitely has the intention to have a proper gallery or two carry his work. If any readers have a space to rent temporarily or would like to host a wine and cheese, contact him at (201) 394-5557. Readers can also ask to be added to his WhatsApp “STATUS KRU” group, where Kreuter posts semi-regularly and “tries to be mildly entertaining.”

To purchase any of Kruter’s artwork and/or see current pieces, visit www.kruter.com.

Ellie Wolf is a staff writer at The Jewish Link.

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