People of Asuwere - Cruz Jimenez
Our favourite part of this journey is getting to meet our epic community of Members, and learning about the awesome things they're doing.
The world of art is a fickle one, and while we don't count ourselves as experts, it's common knowledge that it’s a tough gig to crack. Asuwere Member Cruz Jimenez has done just that. A decorated artist himself, Cruz sports an envious cache of awards and exhibitions spanning his career and the world (you can check them out here).
Cruz moved to New Zealand 23 years ago from California, continuing to build on his craft of which has been one of critical acclaim. And while he immerses himself in his own works, he enjoys collecting them just as much.
In this edition of People of Asuwere, Cruz speaks to us on his life, journey, and how he musters his creativity.
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
I’m an Artist originally from California living in Herne Bay with my partner and 2 dogs - Arthur the bulldog and Jimmy the poodle. We spend our weekends on the water when we can with friends. I enjoy being in the kitchen, wine, and I’m an entertainer at heart!
Were you always wanting to be an artist?
Ever since I could remember I was always creating….drawing, painting, and collecting objects to make “villages” for my G.I. Joes and army figurines. I went to the Art Institute of Southern California. Studied at The AICAD/New York Studio Programme, and Parsons School of Design, New York; The New School For Social Research.
Do you have any advice on inspiring creativity? Where do you find it?
Inspiration for me starts with organising my studio, cleaning my brushes, palettes, etc… Music plays. I’m listening to The Doors, Dead Can Dance, and The Cure at the moment.
A very important part of my practice is also reading. I’ve read a few short works just recently: 'The Fisherman and His Soul', 'The Star–Child', 'The Nightingale and The Rose', and 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. Charles Bukowski is also one of my go-tos lately. His philosophy is all about not wasting time in convincing yourself to create but, doing it. If it doesn’t flow from you, and you have to convince yourself to create something, then it's not meant to be.
I am always working i.e. sketching, and writing in my journal. I enjoy writing poems, short stories, my thoughts, visiting the Auckland Art Gallery, and the Winter Gardens. Being out on the sea is my biggest inspiration, especially in the evening when the stars visit.
Has your work evolved over time?
My work over the years (approx. 30 years) has gone from landscapes, portraits and figures to their morphed versions. I’ve been developing this body of work to what it is currently. I’m referencing moments in time that are blurred, forged and put together to form a language people want to learn and understand. The work is subjective with my references to nature. Cosmic curiosity is something I hope most people can relate to.
Out of all of your works, what is your favourite?
My favourite piece is 'First day of the 13th moon' from 2020. (Pictured below) I love the layers of colour. At the final stages of this piece, I was applying the black and white ink. This could only be done once, and one wrong move could have spelled disaster. I really enjoyed that aspect of risk in its creation.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions we should know about?
I’m currently getting work ready for a group show titled 'SENSATION_22' at my Dealer Gallery, Scott Lawrie Gallery in Mount Eden (opening 9th April, 2022), and also the Auckland Art fair in November. My solo exhibition will be in June 2023.
What is the process behind producing your works?
I always start with sketches and some writing before I start on major works. Ink works turn into wax and oil paintings and so the process begins. I add, subtract, and obliviate a painting before I feel it’s finished.
How does Asuwere suit your lifestyle?
I don’t enjoy clothes shopping. I gave my measurements to Ants one time and bam, done. I pick my items and they arrive in a perfect fit which I really appreciate. I’m really enjoying my wardrobe, the service is impeccable, and the classic pieces easily mix and match with my other garments.