As many of you know , I work as Chief Curator in Germany for Virtual Gallery, a social network and online platform to exhibit, buy and sell art .
There is a space that I specially like in the platform and this is the “Featured Artists” section, those are artists who have been selected by an international network of curators what we are currently building and it shows the idea of how selling art online is evolving towards the creation of networks.
Besides all the outreach and communication we do with those artists, we as curators, also write an article going deeper into the artist and into different aspects of his work. We publish it in several languages, creating an interesting catalog of artists.
I have just finished Irene Cruz, now featured artist at Virtual Gallery. I invite you all to stroll through the three impressive rooms we have opened in the gallery with the series Urlaub, Mär and Heimat.
Below I reproduce an excerpt of the article, you can read it complete here . I Hope you like it.
Irene Cruz is an artist who is gaining a remarkable personality, with a very recognisable style for everyone nowadays. It is difficult not to be seduced by her pictures, especially by the aura of mystery and poetry inside their atmospheres, with a cinematographic environment, but also by the fact that she knows how to articulate what at first glance could seem opposite to us; fiction and reality, nature and human presence. For her one of the most important issues is to convey to the viewer all the sensations or thoughts that she feels when she makes her works “I want people to imagine, to feel the wet ground beneath their bare feet, to get lost in the countryside and at the same time temporary space, to think attracted for the mystery of my images”.
She works primarily photography but in recent times she has also begun to work with video art since the process of making their photographs was a performative process itself and it matches well with this medium. Her work could be framed within the conceptual photography with a highly poetic component, paying particular attention to the scene where it will perform the photograph (usually outdoors), and the treatment of light and composition. Woman (universal and faceless), loneliness, and its many possible intersections (desire, exploration, melancholy) are the common bonds of her production, always self-referential and with a very nuanced light; so it is not surprising that she looks scenarios in northern European cities, such as Berlin where she currently lives and works.
What strikes me most in her work is the self-portrait, a recurring theme throughout the art history but she uses it not much as a recognizable aesthetic element but more as a mean of introspection, as she never is in front of the camera so her face is never recognizable “through photography I reflect, I learn, I discover myself. It is also true that playe a certain role, I enter into my universe, I feel happy and comfortable. My artwork is a mirror of myself. It is very close to my philosophy and my way to see the life”.
I personally got to know the work of Irene Cruz through one of the pieces of the Urlaub series, and I established an emotional connection with it. I was in the same scenario before, the singular amusement Spreewald park in Berlin, and I felt protagonist right away . In this series the artist weaves a reflection of the concept of holidays as a place of retreat and isolation in order to find yourself. Using the metaphor of the abandoned amusement park, which was once the “vacation spot”.
In Mär series she plays with the similarity of sound but no meaning in the word Mär; in German fairy tale versus the sea in Spanish. Here the artist confronts us with the nakedness of her own body as one element in a friendly nature, which appears in complete harmony with the figure of the artist.
In one of her last works Heimat (usually translated as home), reflection turns into a current and deep topic related to the increase of people leaving their cities or countries. The big question is then what is Heimat for us. For the artist her “Heimat” is not a geographical space but an “emotional home” with their beloved ones, with whom she remains connected.
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