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Across film, video, neon, light, installation art and photography, the multifaceted artist Miriam Kruishoop is essentially a storyteller. And not only her own story. She is drawn to the portrayal and empathetic celebration of under-seen people in society — the isolated within communities, the alone and far from home, the victims of abuse, racism, and prejudice. Her work is sometimes emotional, sometimes more pop-inflected, in rich tones and bright light, it always has something to say about the way we perceive, judge, love, learn about and communicate with each other.

Miriam Kruishoop, I Am Angry Too

L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you were an artist?    

MIRIAM KRUISHOOP: When I was really young I was obsessed with films and music. I watched Scarface and The Godfather I & II every weekend and was addicted to MTV (those were the 80’s). I wanted to be a competitive tennis player at first, but when I had to retire from the sport at the age of 15 due to an injury I decided I would become a filmmaker and artist instead. I never looked back.

What is your short answer to people who ask what your work is about?

I don’t pigeonhole myself as a writer/director or visual artist. I’m creative and I’m a storyteller. I had a record label for a while. I look for many different ways to express myself. I don’t want to limit myself.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

A full-time activist. An athlete or a criminal.

Did you go to art school? why/why not?

Yes. I went to the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam — the most prolific academy in the Netherlands that had a great audio-visual department with well known artists and super dope teachers.

Miriam Kruishoop, Nightwatch

Why do you live and work in L.A., and not elsewhere?

I ended up here with my ex-husband (Photek) for work. He was a recording artist on Virgin Records. I moved between London, NYC and L.A., but decided to settle in L.A. again. I love this city. I love the diversity and all the different cultures. It’s the center of entertainment, it’s entrepreneurial and it attracts a lot of like-minded souls. L.A. is a city that you really have to discover. It’s hidden. It’s not for everyone and I love that. I’ve always been inspired by west coast music and art. It’s about space and that Cali vibe. It’s special.

When was your first show?

My first group show was in 1998 in the Netherlands. My first big show was in 2002 in Amsterdam.

When is/was your current/most recent/next show?

My most recent solo show was last year called “Living in America.” My shows that were scheduled to open in the spring have been cancelled due to covid. My next show is scheduled for September at the National Rotterdam Theater. Plus my new film has been selected for a festival in NYC. As far as the art shows in the U.S. go, nothing is happening unfortunately. Our business has been hurt terribly. Galleries and museums are really struggling.

Miriam Kruishoop, Street Dreams

What artist living or dead would you most like to show with?

Chris Burden. David Lynch. Andy Warhol. Frans Zwartjes. Robert Irwin. Glenn Ligon. Theaster Gates.

Do you listen to music while you work? If so what?

I’m a music head and I listen to a lot of different genres. From Mobb Deep to Jane’s Addiction and Rihanna. Studio work faves are Gil Scott-Heron, Zeppelin, Parliament. It depends on my mood. My morning ritual is reggae.

Website and social media handles, please!

Website: miriamkruishoop.com

Instagram: @mkruishoop

Miriam Kruishoop, I Am Angry Too (Arabic)