Managing Director of the Enter Art Foundation, Till Wald, in the studio with artist Jorge da Cruz.
Till Wald: Would you please briefly introduce yourself? Where do you come from, at what stage do you are at the moment and where – in a metaphorical sense – do you want to go? Do you have a philosophy of life?
Jorge Da Cruz: I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and for the last years of my life I lived and worked a bit everywhere: Spain, India, Brazil, Morocco, Kassel :-). Since 2011 I have a studio in Berlin. I am currently in a very exciting phase of my career as an artist. A period of settling down in a city, a period of art collaborations with other artists … a very creative phase indeed! My life philosophy maybe is: „Discover what you like to do, what really makes you happy, and have the courage to do it for the rest of your life.“
If you could describe your art in three sentences, what would you say? Can it be in three words? Physical, raw, instinctive.
With regard to the process of creation: How do you work? Are there any repetitive patterns you follow? Yes. Repetition and daily routines are super important for me. I always start any painting or video installation with a drawing. Then this process evolves naturally and turns into a series of events that change the final composition.
TW: What sources of inspiration do you have?
JDC: I’d much rather talk about motivation than inspiration. Inspiration is too esoteric for me. I always have an urge to paint but I don’t always feel motivated to do it. But then comes into the picture, I think, the discipline. I don’t feel like doing it but I must continue, I must put the work forward. I feel, this has more to do with hard work than with inspiration. I love to work with other artists in close collaboration – with writers or other visual artists such as Ivo do Carmo, Frediano Bortolotti and more recently Carolin Schmidt. Team work is great in arts! This can be my perfect motivation.
TW: What do you consider to be your most important work? Which one has a special meaning to you and why?
JDC: I think the one I’m more attached to is a group of three paintings called “Half of Leaf” (3X80x100, oil pastel, henna in wood canvas). It is a work I did in three different places in different times: Lisbon 2006, Fez 2007 and Kassel 2009. Maybe it means so much to me because I did it in three different and very important phases in my life. The paintings are now exhibited in a Berlin restaurant. If you come to Berlin check it out: Elsenstr. 30b!
TW: You’ve chosen Berlin as a place to live and work – has this been a conscious decision? Could you describe the influence of the surrounding and the city to your work?
JDC: Everything happened by chance. It was a conscious decision but not a planned one. The influence of the surrounding is super important. I lived and worked in Kassel for two years, where I had a beautiful studio in the “Nordstadt” and all the necessary conditions – but I simply couldn’t work. Kassel was too clean, too much order and silence. I came to Berlin and my work developed fast. That means that I need more chaos and disorder to work. Big cities are perfect for me. Berlin – until now – has been a paradise to work in arts. Kassel may be good to think and reflect about your art and I need that sometimes, too. Kassel is in my heart. Lots of friends and peace to think …
TW: As an artist, art is obviously very important to you. However, do you need an “art time-out” from time to time?
JDC: I don’t have breaks from art. I live fully for it. Maybe what makes me come out from my studio is friends and family?