David Antonio Cruz

Cruz explores the intersectionality of queerness and race through painting, sculpture, and performance. Focusing on queer, trans, and gender fluid communities of color, Cruz examines the violence perpetrated against their members, conveying his subjects both as specific individuals and as monumental signifiers for large and urgent systemic concerns. A recent series explores the notion of ‘chosen family’: the nonbiological bonds between queer people based in mutual support and love. Each painting depicts the likeness of the artist’s community, and at the same time the portraits strive to capture much more than the physical representation of the figures; they venerate the overall structure of queer relationships, captured through intimate moments of touch, strength, support, and celebration.


David Antonio Cruz (b. 1974, Philadelphia, PA) lives and works in New York City, NY. Cruz received his BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute and his MFA from Yale University. He also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and completed the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum, New York. Recent residencies and fellowships include the LMCC Workspace Residency, New York (2015); Gateway Project Spaces, Newark, NJ (2016); BRIC Workspace Residency, Brooklyn (2018); Neubauer Faculty Fellowship, Tufts University, Boston (2018); and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Award (2018). Recent group exhibitions include A Site for Struggle, The Block Museum at Northwestern (2022) and A Place For Me: Figurative Painting Now, ICA Boston (2022), Elegies: Still Life in Contemporary Art, Museum of African Diaspora (2022). His work is in the collections of El Museo Del Barrio, New York and the institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Cruz lives and works in New York City where he is the Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University.