Edgar Cruz is a photo-based artist currently studying Fine Art and Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. Through analog and alternative photography, Edgar explores his personal relationship to space and environment. His work utilizes monochromatic light and shadows to create narratives of loneliness, detachment, and human connection. He uses various photographic processes including silver-gelatin, cyanotypes, platinum/palladium, photopolymer gravure, copper etchings, and alcohol transfers.
Throughout the past couple months, the experiences of physical touch, human connection, and intimacy have drastically changed. Losing the physicality of friendships and everyday human contact has resulted in investigating our connection to space and physical bodies. How is our desire for intimate touch and closeness changing?
Working with photograms and cyanotypes allows me to expose my body onto the paper using the sun. When the sun is its brightest and strongest, I lay on the paper and feel the intense heat and UV rays. The performative aspect of this process allows me to investigate ideas surrounding physicality and contact. I ponder how unavailable physical human contact is today, while also thinking about how our ideas of human connection and relationships are changing through this pandemic.
Utilizing human and plant bodies, I investigate the threads of connection between myself and others. I am thinking a lot about how much I miss hugs, crowded buses, conversations with others, and laying a head on a shoulder. But I also miss the colors of spring flowers, the birds singing, and fresh air. I’ve always yearned for connection, love, and intimacy, but now more than ever my hunger is unbearable. My work deeply reflects my situation of isolation and reconnection with the people and space around me.
A big thank you to Natalie Del Castillo for being a huge help with my entire cyanotype process and for being the main source of inspiration for my work. Being a frequent collaborator and best friend, the work I make would not be the same without her.
The 2020 Irwin Scholars are
Aarón Martínez, Anastasia Oleson, Angel Gonzales, Chloe Murr, Dominic Ramirez, Edgar Cruz, Emma McWaid, Jocelyn Lee, Joshua Zupan, Morgan Tomfohr, Natalie Del Castillo, Rodrigo Ramos, Veriche Blackwell