Hello I am Vanezza Cruz and I am a mixed media artist working in printmaking, graphic design, collage, illustration and painting; living and working in New York.
Being an Afro-Latina of Dominican descent and growing up in the South Bronx, becoming an artist was something that seemed like a far away dream and unattainable in my future. The introduction of art in my life was serendipitous however it has enriched my life for the better. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for art.
Ideas of beauty, femininity and body image have always been a major topic in my life from a very young age. My life experiences were filled with preconceived notions of what it meant to be female which have carried into my adulthood. My early work centered around these ideals, as I used myself and my experiences as the subject. As I grew up and became more aware of my own self, representations of women in print and print advertising became a key component in how I shaped my view of beauty. I became increasingly sensitive, aware and disturbed by these representations which seemed to never escape the world’s view. Collage is where I began with my creative work which included illustrations of woman and psychological self portraits.
Through my drawings and collages, I create my own ‘women’ made of images that highlight supposed imperfections while accentuating coveted physical attributes. In my work, I also include elements from my collection of ephemera which grows as I explore representations of women of different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. Clocks are used to represent aging, teacups denote innocence, while corsets represent gratuitous sexuality and doubles as symbolizing armor. These symbols, while denoting a stereotypically ideal of femininity, are what I consider to be torture devices and the antithesis of the allure inherent in these elements of vanity.
My work stems from a combination of pleasure, angst and a critical view on being female which is evolving over time and imbued by who I am. I create this kind of art as a way to answer questions I have about myself, of how I will be viewed as a woman through my work and as a lasting form of therapy,