DAVID ANTONIO CRUZ
FOR I AM, OR I WAS. THERETURNOFTHEDIRTYBOYS
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: MAY 10TH, 6 - 8 PM
EXHIBITION CLOSING: MAY 13TH
(Newark, New Jersey - March 7, 2016) Project For Empty Space [at] Gateway Project Spaces is pleased to present For I am - or I was, thereturnofthedirtyboys a solo exhibition by Artist-In-Residence David Antonio Cruz on view from April 6th through May 13th, 2016. A limited edition risograph print commemorating the exhibition will be released in conjunction with the opening reception.
For I am- or I was, thereturnofthedirtyboys explores the timeless and timely intersections of queer identity, the male-to-male gaze, and navigation of space as a genderfluid person of color. All work in the exhibition was created during Cruz’s residency at Project For Empty Space, and ranges from large-scale paintings to mixed media collage, video, and sculptural installation.
Drawing influence from Gilles Deleuze’s ‘Corps san Organes’ (The Body Without Organs) and the later works of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry, Cruz explores the nuances of gender queerness, race, and public and private space. Part of Deleuze’s Corps Sans Organes, explores the physical, emotional, and metaphorical disjunction between the body, society, and structures, ideas which Cruz has recontextualized in his work. Cruz infers similar concepts from Garcia Lorca’s work, which was concerned with voyeurism of the body, and constructing binary identities that exist behind the closet door and within the public space.
Cruz examines these important concepts through dramatic tonal shifts that range from pastel to darkened shades of grey that render sinewy and supple male forms with exposed flaccid phalluses. Each composition commands the viewer to engage with the figures in a manner that is inescapably voyeuristic and titillating; the paintings complicate the heteronormative perception of male identity. The positioning of the subjects directly references Balthus’s paintings of young women and girls, only replacing the figures with adult men. In this vein, Cruz manages to both androgenize his subjects and simultaneously hyper sensualize them in a further commentary on gender identity.
About the Artist David Antonio Cruz received his MFA in Painting from Yale University in 2009, and his BFA from Pratt University in 1998. His works have been exhibited widely in institutions such as the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum, and PERFORMA among many others. Most recently, his work was acquired by El Museo del Barrio, and is currently on view in Figure and Form: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection at El Museo del Barrio.
About Project For Empty Space Project For Empty Space is a not-for-profit organization that creates socially engaging, multidisciplinary art exhibitions and programming that encourage social dialogue, education, and systemic change for cultural tolerance. This mission is achieved through a permanent project/gallery space, an incubator program for artists addressing social change, and through collaborative and interactive programs in vacant and neglected spaces in cities around the world.The organization’s primary space is located at Gateway Project Spaces is located in 2 Gateway Center in Downtown Newark, New Jersey.
Project For Empty Space is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are Tax Exempt to the fullest extent of the law.