Luis Cruz Azaceta: An Interview

Video Data Bank

1989 | 00:30:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Interviews, On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Interview, Latino/Chicano, Mixed media, Painting, VDB Interviews

Luis Cruz Azaceta (b.1942) creates paintings and mixed media works which use the recurring theme of the displaced individual. Marked by his own exile from Cuba—he emigrated to the U.S. in 1960, in the wake of Castro’s take-over—the artist realized that home is something he carries with him from place to place. Through his piercing expressionism, Azaceta depicts the frailty of human existence in a world full of social anarchy, historically mandated violence, and natural chaos.

Within this interview with Bob Loescher, Azaceta recalls his reaction to the New York art world following his graduation from the School of Visual Arts in 1969, and how this response would come to define his practice from then on.  “In the 1970s in New York the art world was so cool, so cerebral.  In order to work against it, I began to do a kind of cartoonish type of painting, which I think I would call ‘apocalyptic pop.’  With a lot of irony and using really humorous titles, because the work was so grotesque and repulsive up to a certain degree, that it would be compensated by very hot colors, the high intensity of the spectrum, and also with the irony of the titles, to balance out the grotesqueness of the work.”      

A historical interview originally recorded in 1989.

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