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Stephen Cruz

Stephen Cruz



From the earliest age I have been immersed in the sublime beauty and mystery of the world around me. From the third eye of imagination I was able to transcend my surroundings and visit many worlds in my mind. Literature, movies, art and science informed my vision and fueled my journey. From an early age I saw myself as a visual artist, my drawings and paintings documenting my journey. When I was 7 years old, my encounter with a Rembrandt painting, “The Raising of Lazarus” captured my imagination and set my on the path I pursue to this day. On that day I experience the evocative power of a painting to access our deepest feelings far beyond the artist’s lifetime.

After graduating from Architecture school I pursued a career in the entertainment industry, initially finding work as a set designer / illustrator, then later as a production illustrator creating storyboards an conceptual art for film, live entertainment and television. In this part of my journey I learned the craft of the visual narrative, how to take the written narrative and interpret it as images. It is working in this field that I learned to think cinematically, to make the canvas a broad stage where dramatic events take place. This experience has informed my work with an eye for the expansive , creating images that are immersive and evocative.

When I paint an image my focus is on what I want the viewer to feel. My aim is for my images to transport the audience to a dreamlike state, filled with wonder, horror, elation and even discomfort. I believe in creating art that evokes strong emotions in people: my aim is to enlighten through the experience of viewing something that is surreal. In the end I wish to leave the viewer with a feeling that they are looking at the world in a way that is not the same as before they say my painting.

There are so many events and occurrences in the world and my daily life that move me to create art; my personal relationships, music, literature, philosophical and religious writings , history and current events to name a few. I want my work to contain passionate statements about the world as I see it ,my aim is to make a connection with my audience that is both passionate and cerebral . Through my use of the medium I chose , I make very deliberate choices of composition, texture, lighting, color, etc. to imbue the piece with a meaning that I hope it conveys to others. In the end I am not trying to make a statement so much as to leave someone with a feeling, an experience.

Lately my work has been pivoting from depicting the wonder and majesty of nature as embodied by the oceans and more specifically waves to one concerning Surrealism. I am fascinated by dreams and how they inform our waking reality. I am filled with wonder when I view the work of Magritte, Dali, Picasso and others, it takes me to my subconscious where I take nothing for granted and question everthing. In that head space the world seems new everyday!

Point of Departure
To me what I wish to leave viewers of my art with is a new perspective to their world, to see and more importantly to feel new possibilities. This is , I believe one of the most powerful functions of art, it should function as a visual koan that makes one turn about in oneself , attaining a personal nirvana so that the world is never the same.


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