Spinello Projects is proud to present The World Is Yours, the debut solo project by Franky Cruz within the galleries new project space.
“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet.
Funny, it seems to by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared…”
-Tupac Shakur, ‘The Rose That Grew From Concrete’ (2005)
Where Mother Nature is concerned, mankind has long imagined and enforced its own sovereignty in a form of manifest destiny: the idea that nature and the environment is just new territory waiting to be conquered, regardless of cost or consequence.
Miami-based artist Franky Cruz inserts this ultimate expression of human ego into the framework of a Miami-based legend: the ruthless, flamboyant, fictional drug kingpin Tony Montana from Brian DePalma’s classic film, Scarface. But instead of the flawless luxury of Montana’s empire, Cruz reveals the tension between biological nature and human nature, even as man continuously attempts to harness, control, and discard it. Montana’s motto, “the world is yours”, is altogether a defiant and tragic battle cry. While fortune and fame are worth the price of total destruction of one’s surroundings, the outcome is the same: the earth is the house, and the house holds all the cards.
Cruz presents both video works from his Revolver series and sculptures constructed from found materials specific to the Hialeah area of Miami. Perched on a dilapidated, red vinyl chair embellished with brass studs sits a faded, familiar image of Montana in his ivory, foamy bathtub. Replacing one of the chair’s broken legs is a doughnut-shaped piece of limestone bedrock, the substance that comprises the foundation of Florida’s landmass. Jutting out from beneath the chair, and the poster, is a small potted palm tree. In one moment, the viewer sees the dichotomy between the disposable nature of the manmade luxury object and the resilience of the organic object that still stands despite its disused state. The tree becomes a strange phallic gesture, an extension of Montana’s seemingly indestructible ego, as the thing that remains long after the chair crumbles and the poster is blotted out. The limestone foundation, acting as just that, will doubtless outlast the surface it supports. Another sculpture incorporates a broken porcelain mug with a live plant growing from the gallery floor. Once again, an active resistance of biology versus the pre-fabricated element; the gallery serves as a terrarium and memorial, a greenhouse and a graveyard. Cruz, effectively, makes a potent statement on the fragility of human endeavors and, when the dust settles, the only dust we will observe is our own.
Franky Cruz was born in the Dominican Republic in 1984. He received his BFA from the New World School of the Arts, Miami in 2011. Cruz was a resident at the HomeBase Project in Berlin (2012), expanding his interests in multimedia painting, sculpture, drawing and video. His work has been featured in group exhibitions in Miami including the Littlest Sister art fair at Spinello Gallery (2010), His WIFE & Her LOVER at Primary Projects (2011), Post: the 2011 New World School of the Arts BFA Candidates exhibition at the Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation (CIFO), and Spinello Gallery’s presentation at SCOPE Basel (2011). Cruz lives and works in Hialeah, Miami.