White Room: Gary CruzSeptember 12–October 19, 2003 320 West 13th Street White Room
Gary Cruz has been exploring issues of male identity, image, and ritual for several years by incorporating the act of shaving into his artwork. This investigation has taken different manifestations, from drawings of moustaches made of the artist’s own facial stubble to a site-specific installation in which Cruz lathered and shaved every inch of a public bathroom. In his White Room, Cruz shows new paintings that depict silhouetted heads of men. The paintings are made with a combination of white paint and shaving cream that is applied to a painted black canvas, and then shaved off with a disposable razor. Trails of shaving cream remain as evidence of each stroke, which is then filled in with colored oil stick. Titled with common male names such as Joe and John, each piece depicts an individual, yet is not a portrait; it is a cross between the specific and the generic. Cruz has shown his work at such venues as The Drawing Center, Art in General, Matthew Marks Gallery, and the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. This is his first solo show.