8 September - 28 October 2023
Installation Views
Press release

For a practice so grounded in portraiture, rarely is there a real person depicted in Taína Cruz’s work. Cruz renders avatars, or proxies. Her atypical practice collapses the distinctions between pop-culture, the western art historical canon, and post-colonial history. Within the exhibition, recurring motifs emerge through a mercurial image ecology, most notably golden or yellow eyes: which can be read as celestial and divine or contrarily, sickly and depraved. Cruz’s avatars, like sirens, harbor a seductive femininity laced with satire and horror, especially when addressing themes of trauma, colonialism and Black femininity. The artist treats her works with a stylistic fickleness– characters are rendered in the imagined world they reference. For Cruz, style is a tool which helps to trace her works back to their original references, rather than something she imposes onto its source. Her video work, Hound, 2023, harkens back to tumblr-era treatment of image material: indexing and sublimating the single image into a fragment of a larger nebula. Her improvisational methods of image manipulation invoke a nostalgia for the recent past, and demarcate the 2010s as a bygone age. A synergy between digital aesthetics and mysticism is notable, linking the ephemera of fairy tales and oral history to the reality of media consumption. In these unrestrained creations, Cruz often takes on the role of a storyteller herself. The works on view at the gallery subsequently regurgitate a wealth of ideas which connect to each other in a network of socio-political concepts, incidentally justifying their connection to each other.


TAíNA CRUZ (b. 1998, New York) is an artist, archivist, and researcher, whose work explores themes related to world building and folklore, visual and cultural history as well as identity. 


Cruz's artistic practice seamlessly traverses a range of mediums, encompassing sculpture, painting, and video. Her distinctive visual language emerges through the manipulation of digital imagery, a process that involves skillfully altering photographs and visual material from her own expansive digital archive. Referring to pop cultural and goth-punk scene aesthetics in her work, elves, monsters and fairies are often protagonists that help the artist explore the profound depths, eerie horrors, and hidden aspects of the world. With a foundation firmly set in her family's 400-year history as practitioners of West-African and Caribbean folklore, Cruz views the preservation and perpetuation of this practice as an urgent and essential task. Through her art Cruz transforms her personal history and biography by acknowledging epistemologies and spirituality as both ubiquitous and sublime. 


Recent exhibitions include Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2023, solo); Studio Mondial, Berlin (2023); Martos Gallery, New York (2023); Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2023); Housing Gallery, New York (2022, solo); Embajada, San Juan (2022, solo);  Housing Gallery, New York (2021); New Release Gallery, Online (2020); The Gormley Gallery, Baltimore, (2020). Cruz received the GO-A: Goya Opportunity Award, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2019) and was featured on the MICA Dean's List 2016-2020, Baltimore, United States of America (2020).


Hound, Taína Cruz's first solo exhibition with the gallery will take place in September as part of Berlin Art Week, 2023. 


opening Friday 15.09.2023, 6–9 pm