Adam Cruz

Artist, Musician, and Writer in Bloomfield, NJ

Curated by Adam Cruz, PLENA PUNK is an exhibit series that delves into Puerto Rican identity, religion, and music. Each art piece is compiled by vectorizing and layering images of objects, musical instruments, and symbols that explore the Puerto Rican diaspora and its impact on culture and on Cruz’s own Puerto Rican identity. In graphic design, vectorization is the use of polygons to represent images in computer graphics. Vector graphics are based on vectors, which lead through locations called control points or nodes. Each of these points has a definite position on the x and y axes of the work plane and determines the direction of the path. Furthermore, each path may be assigned a stroke color, shape, curve, thickness, and fill. Employing this technique, Cruz utilizes Puerto Rico’s cartography and topography as fashion items, facial marks, and body tattoos. When layered together, these components further broaden Cruz’s fascination with androgyny, starkness, and contrast. Because he had never visited before, PLENA PUNK was also a catharsis, imagining what it might be like to visit and experience the magic on the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. He finally started visiting the island in 2018 and has gone twice more since.

ADAM CRUZ – ARTIST STATEMENT:

I’ve been a DJ since I was ten years old, following in the footsteps of my older cousin who gifted his DJ equipment and record collection to me in 1987. That singular moment changed me forever. My love of music grew exponentially over those years and my experiences DJing at parties broadened. Becoming a DJ was a natural thing for me because of how the stories in the music made me feel. I’m passionate about blending records together and creating new ideas on the spot by using turntables, CDJs, loops, or anything else. Because timing is everything to a DJ, each song commands me to pay attention to its musical form and structure. I take notice of the verses, choruses, and most of all, any sections with a drum break in it. To a great DJ, a lengthy break in a song can open up a world of ideas. You can loop it, blend an acapella track on top and create a “mash-up,” or use a drum break to provide the bed for another song entirely.

Each idea becomes a layer that builds to a completed new idea. I’ve spent countless hours layering and creating in this way.

Interested in my work? Contact me at: [email protected]