Artist of the Week: Adam Cruces

Adam Cruces was born in Houston, Texas and is currently based in Zürich, Switzerland. He received his BFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2008 and finished his MFA in Kunst & Medien at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in June 2013. Cruces has facilitated Desktop Views and Headquarters, a project space based in Zürich and on the web. His work has recently been shown at Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Milano, IT; Helmhaus, Zürich, CH; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA; Foto 30, Guatemala City, GT. Forthcoming projects include exhibitions at NERO Headquarters, Roma, IT  and Kunsthaus Baselland.

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How did your interest in art begin? As a kid I drew things I enjoyed – Ninja Turtles, the Simpsons, and video game characters. When my mother noticed it was rather easy for me to accurately depict what I saw, she put me in private art classes in which I’d paint still lifes and landscapes from observation. My first ‘real’ work of art was a still arrangement of fruits and containers at the age of 8.

How long have you lived in Zürich and what brought you there? I’ve been living in Zürich for just about 3 years now. I came here to experience living outside of the States and do my MFA. I chose Zürich because, although it’s tiny, it has a lot of cultural activity and support for that activity. And there aren’t very many Americans, so I get to feel exotic.

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How has living in Zürich affected your art practice? Zürich has encouraged me to consider the content and context of my projects more carefully. Since Switzerland is a small, expensive country, the spaces are relatively proportionate, as well as the options for materials. Not to mention, most people don’t have cars. So it usually restricts the material to what is individually manageable for transport (in scale and cost). Such limitations call for more problem solving when creating new work. It’s another level of inconvenience that I never experienced, even in NYC.

Another aspect that has really influenced me is the energy of my peers here. A lot of the artists I respect around Switzerland approach each project as a presentation highly specific to the setting, which can often lead to work taking on a range of aesthetics. In other words, it seems artists’ projects here don’t usually seem to be career-length endeavors that evolve slowly over time. For me, this results in a vast variety of work operating at different depths. Yet, there is still a consistency and cohesiveness to their larger practices. This is something that has been entering my mode of operation lately, or at least I’d like to think so.

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Top 3 favorite or most visited websites and why? Facebook, Reddit, and Wikipedia. For productivity and passing time.

What artists are you interested in right now? My peers online and offline, but mostly offline. I’ve always been a fan of Francis Bacon and Cy Twombly, and the still life genre as a whole.

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Tell us about your work process and how it develops? These days it really counts on the project and where it will be shown. When it comes to the production, I don’t really have a formula for how I work. The process can start with a certain idea/ concept, a material I want to work with, or some sort of research. From there it goes to trial and error phase. Finally, the project or piece goes into the venue and I try to get a sense of the vibe I’d like to create with the space, trying to get a good balance and flow for the viewer in the space in a manner that is appropriate to the work.

What’s your absolute favorite place in the world to be? Depends on the mood. Often the answer is Zürich, but sometimes NYC, Texas, or maybe Barcelona.

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Who is your ideal studio mate? Heidi Klum.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I recently finished my MFA work, a group show in Australia, and a show at the Swiss Institute in Milano. Upcoming projects are exhibitions at Kunsthaus Baselland, Helmahus Zürich, and a livestream performance from Houston, TX for No Floor that will result in an edition presentation at Nero Magazine Headquarters in Rome.

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If you were a drink what drink would you be? it were possible to have a good tasting combination of Gatorade’s Tropical Vitctory and Leffe, that’s what I’d be. Refreshing and relaxing.

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