David Antonio 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 signifies for large and urgent systemic concerns. His most 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 own 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.
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). Upcoming group exhibitions include A Site for Struggle, The Block Museum at Northwestern (2022) and A Place For Me: Figurative Painting Now, ICA Boston (2022). His work is in the collection of El Museo Del Barrio, New York, and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Cruz lives and works in Boston, where he is a Professor of the Practice in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.