Joseph G. Cruz photo.jpg

Joseph G. Cruz

Joseph G. Cruz is a research-driven artist whose practice involves geo-historical and trans-contextual investigations of history and epistemology. No object, history, or human has priority as an activator in these investigations.

CNL Projects: What is one thing you feel you have learned or experienced as an artist that you feel you can share with your peers and emerging artists in the field?

Joseph G. Cruz: The one thing I have learned from my experience as an artist is that time to percolate and meander in directions without a known destination is a must. These explorations and time in the studio need to give back to your daily life in some sort of regenerative or therapeutic way; pay attention to these meanderings and how they might fold back into your life. Life outside of the studio will keep adding priorities that take time, energy, and money away from your studio practice. It's vital that you figure out a sustainable balance and looking at it as a long term part of your life as a whole. It might seem silly, but thinking about it as yoga, meditation, or going to the gym has helped me find patience and possibly more maturity with it as a calling.

CNL: What’s something that you’re seeking from others in the field to support your practice?

JGC: I am seeking more dialogue from fellow Artist to get feedback -while work is in progress- and more visibility of finished pieces (that do not go into exhibitions) for possible sales. So many of us do not have gallery representation but still exhibit. The problem is that only a small percentage get into the exhibition and these can often be the more commercially viable work. (Especially for installation and academically driven artist ).

Installation view from "Across the Sky, Came a Screaming" at the Evanston Art Center, 2016

Installation view from "Across the Sky, Came a Screaming" at the Evanston Art Center, 2016

CNL: What’s a piece of advice you would share with other artists or cultural producers in your field?

JGC: Build an easy and specific step by step holistic archival system that you ALWAYS follow thru on and even document Works in Progress (especially the ones you put away for the time being); as if they are finished. Having a quick go to file with decent documentation and piece information is so vital. I personally have a problem doing this and most often don't feel like a piece is completed or good enough to be considered a finished piece. Hamza Walker basically gave me this advise when saying that older (and unfinished) work can often be re-contextualized by the work you make in the future. These are like small pieces of a larger mosaic or narrative you are creating. It's okay to not see the forest thru these trees. Just make sure the work is properly protected and archived so you can look back and see them in this newer context.