DENVER ART PROJECT: Interview with Jerry De La Cruz

ImageImageImage

Artist, Jerry De La Cruz, corrected me on the phone.  He has been creating art with ‘found’ objects for years. There’s nothing new about the upcycled, repurposed art seen in festivals and galleries around Denver lately. It is not a newly recognized phenomena in art, he let me know.  What De La Cruz is creating can be defined as ‘reliquaries‘. Definition: a shrine or container for sacred relics.

In his studio is a bizarre mix of antique lamps which he grinningly unshackles to reassemble into a new work of art. There are hundreds of shelves of objects from garage sales, dumpsters, vintage stores and Goodwills. Your eyes move from knick-knacks, lamps, toys, vases, wire bowls, balls, dolls, religious icons creating a sort of fearful, intrusive, creepy peek into a stranger’s eccentric back room of an old curiosity shop.

He’s a contemporary, multi-disciplined artist who explained,  “The reliquaries are just one of my current explorations and do not define my work per se.”

Amidst his fascinating studio with glass eyes and strings and objects staring at me, Jerry and I sat on the old band stand in his one hundred year old studio/home just west of the Santa Fe Art District while I interviewed him for the first Denver Art Project.

1. What inspires you these days?

I’m always inspired by high craftsmanship in all areas of creativity.  As an example, the craftsmanship found in churches. It was the art churches paid for like sculpture, altars, windows. Human beings made this art. When I visit churches in Europe it’s like an archeological discovery of things created by humans. 

2. Who are your heroes?

Kill your heroes, that’s what I say. Really. As you age, your heroes don’t last long. If I had to pick I’d say Toulous Lautrec, Salvador Dali, Diane Arbus, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, and Gerhardt Richter. These are artists who have fluctuated a lot and traveled in different directions with their work, especially Richter. Like myself, they’re all over the place.

3. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

 It doesn’t exist. O.K., happiness to me is living in a world where two or three things work: health, enjoying what you’re doing, and no pitfalls, like, nothing gets in the way. You may not have a plan every day but you get started, get through it, go to bed, start over the next day. It’s how one travels through life, quality over quantity. 

4. What scares the hell out of you?

As a child I did experience scares of that magnitude especially with horror movies or nightmares but as an adult, nothing really.  Even after I was drafted into the army in 1968, I was not overwhelmed with fear that I might end up in a war zone.  I have fears  as most humans do but I would not say that any one of them scares the hell out of me.   I would imagine that this question would likely bring up the issue of death  or dying but they do not hold that much power over me though I must admit that I found a certain amount of comfort in a quote by Woody Allen, “ I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”.

 5. What makes you laugh hard?

Things that aren’t necessarily meant to be funny, like humor found in conversations with friends, puns within the conversation as an example, and not so much that coming from comedy routines or professional comedians.

6. Who are your favorite artists of all time?

Edouard Manet is one of my favorites. I saw one of his paintings at the Musee d’Orsay and it stopped me in my tracks. The execution left me in awe.

 7. What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Frozen yogurt.

8. If you could change one thing about you, it would be?

I’d obtain more literary experiences, read more classics and biographies. 

9. What’s your favorite thing in the world?

Like if the house was burning? Besides Diane it would be my painting titled, “Then I found myself…in the bushes searching for that hunk of lead.” That is my story on canvas. One panel depicts me at 23 years old, the other at ten years old.

10. What comes to mind when you think of Denver?

My visual image of Denver is a very attractive, clean atmosphere with a lot of interesting elements. It’s a city but a city that still has great neighborhoods. 

Since you’re about to make Miami your winter home, what comes to mind when you think of Miami?

It is culturally diverse and the magnitude of its diversity comes to mind.

Visit Jerry De La Cruz website: www.delacruzarts.com

Advertisements

One thought on “DENVER ART PROJECT: Interview with Jerry De La Cruz

  1. Good, informative interview with Jerry De la Cruz! // I saw it by.way.of Facebook // Jerry and I’ve been friends since early 1970’s [I no longer live in Denver] / He has a huge, beautiful body of work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Navy Blue Heaven

A Little Slice Of Cowboys Heaven

The Cool Muse / La Musa Molona

"The Cool Muse: Proudly tormenting friends and family with paintings of doubtful quality since MMII" "

Jazz in a Minute

Discover trending and amazing Funky Jazzy artists. Definitely not another mainstream music blog.

Splatter Craze

Get crazy about being creative!

Dear Denver

I've been thinking so much about you...

Peter ILLIG's Blog

Art-making in Denver

A Stairway To Fashion

contact: ralucastoica23@gmail.com

The Neighborhood

telling the story from every vantage point

Artwork of Jenna Koenning

Inspired by the natural sciences, I use landscape painting as a means to express issues of personal importance.

Tales Of Endearment

STORIES ABOUT LOVE, FRIENDS, VINTAGE, MUSIC AND LIFE.

artthatmeansbusiness

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

you can observe a lot just by watching

thoughts and insights into the worlds of television and film

Stephanie Raffelock

A good story can transform the way that you see the world.

Vernacularisms

Notes from Belfast

%d bloggers like this: