D A V I D   A N T O N I O   C R U Z

FOR I WAS- OR I AM, thereturnofthedirtyboys
Wednesday, April 6th through May 13th
Opening reception 6 to 8:30pm

Project For Empty Space [at] Gateway Project Spaces is pleased to present For I am - or I was, thereturnofthedirtyboys, a solo exhibition by Artist-In-Residence David Antonio Cruz on view from April 6th through May 13th, 2016. A limited edition risograph print commemorating the exhibition will be released in conjunction with the opening reception.

For I am- or I was, thereturnofthedirtyboys explores the timeless and timely intersections of queer identity, the male-to-male gaze, and navigation of space as a genderfluid person of color. All of the work in the exhibition was created during Cruz’s residency at Project For Empty Space, and ranges from large-scale paintings to mixed media collage, video, and sculptural installation.

Drawing influence from Gilles Deleuze’s ‘Corps sans organes’ (The Body Without Organs) and the later works of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry, Cruz explores the nuances of gender queerness, race, and public and private space. Part of Deleuze’s Corps Sans Organes, explores the physical, emotional, and metaphorical disjunction between the body, society, and structures, ideas which Cruz has recontextualized in his work. Cruz infers similar concepts from Garcia Lorca’s work, which was concerned with voyeurism of the body, and constructing binary identities that exist behind the closet door and within the public space.

Cruz examines these important concepts through dramatic tonal shifts that range from pastel to darkened shades of grey that render sinewy and supple male forms with exposed flaccid phalluses. Each composition commands the viewer to engage with the figures in a manner that is inescapably voyeuristic and titillating; the paintings complicate the heteronormative perception of male identity. The positioning of the subjects directly references Balthus’s paintings of young women and girls, only replacing the figures with adult men. In this vein, Cruz manages to both androgenize his subjects and simultaneously hyper sensualize them in a further commentary on gender identity.


GreenhowIwantyougreen, Performance*
Gateway Project Spaces
Saturday, April 23rd 7 to 9pm

The experimental and interactive, bilingual performance is based on the last eleven poems, Sonnets of Dark Love, by the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca. The poems were banned for 50 years after his assassination in 1936. The music arrangement is composed and arranged by Daniel de Jesus.


First Look: ‘Portraiture Now’ at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington | Taína Caragol
Apollo Magazine | London

Alwaysagoodtime | Sasha Dees
Arc Magazine | New York

TAKEABITE | Lee Ann Norman
BOMB Magazine | New York

Hola, Art Lover | Lauren Monsen
Journal USA | Washington DC

40 UNDER 40| PrattFolio
The Magazine of Pratt Institute | Brooklyn

STUDIO Magazine | Spring Issue
Studio Museum in Harlem | New York City

David Antonio Cruz is a multidisciplinary New York-based artist. Cruz fuses video, costume construction, performance and painting to explore and redefine queerness, diasporic, psychological and ever shifting unnamed spaces. Cruz received his MFA from Yale University and his BFA from Pratt Institute. He attended Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture and the AIM program at the Bronx Museum. He is a recipient of a 2013 Franklin Furnace Fund and the Urban Artist Initiative Award in 2011. His work has been exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, Bronx Museum, Jersey City Museum, Museo de Puerto Rico and various galleries. Most recently at Lehmann Maupin, the Islip Museum of Art, and Performa 13. His films have been shown at the Big Screen Project, the Anthology Film Archives, Arte Americas, El Museum Del Barrio and various installations in Philadelphia, Chapel Hill and Miami. This summer his work will be part of the Portrait Now exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. The artist works and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

And she shows you where to look. Among the garbage and the flowers.
There are heroes in the seaweed. There are children in the morning.
They are leaning out for love. And they will lean that way forever.

- L. Cohen