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 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.
Cruz (b.1974, Philadelphia, PA) received his BFA in Painting from Pratt Institute, NY and his MFA from Yale University, CT. He attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and completed the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum, New York. Recent and forthcoming solo exhibitions include Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (2023), Galleria Poggiali, Florence, IT (2023); moniquemeloche Gallery, Chicago, IL (2021, 2019); Halsey Institute of Fine Art, Charleston, SC (2024); and Wave Hill Museum, Bronx, NY (2024). Forthcoming group exhibitions include the Zuckerman Museum, Kennesaw, GA (2023); Minneapolis Museum of Art, Minneapolis, MN (2025); DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for the New England Triennial, Lincoln, MA (2022); The Block Museum at Northwestern, Evanston, IL (2022); Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, MA (2022); Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA (2022); Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2019); Ford Foundation, New York, NY (2019); McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX (2019); and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C (2019).
His work is in the collections of El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA; 21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, KY; and Pierce & Hill Harper Arts Foundation, Detroit, MI. Cruz lives and works in New York City where he is the Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University. 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). Cruz lives and works in New York City, NY.