This Is Who We Are: David Antonio Cruz

Carlos Barragán, Columbia University School of the Arts, April 19, 2023

David Antonio Cruz, born to Puerto Rican parents in Philadelphia, is an interdisciplinary artist focused on drawing, painting, and performance. In his work, Cruz explores the visibility and intersectionality of brown, black, and queer bodies, the lives of those divided between two different homelands, and the psychological tensions behind them. His paintings have been exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, ICA Boston, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and Brooklyn Museum and he has been awarded several fellowships.


Raised in a traditional Puerto Rican home, Cruz didn’t like to play outside. Instead, he preferred spending time drawing and painting. “I was drawn to the idea of creating worlds to understand how I could be a part of things that I didn't feel connected to,” he said. “It is such an intimate and personal thing. It was a natural way for me to lean into it from a young age and have those private conversations with myself. This is the thing I've always been obsessed with.”


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