Massive Art Depicting Cellular Processes: Jun Gueco Cruz Combines Science and Spirituality.
Philadelphia, PA - Jun Gueco Cruz, a visual artist and healthcare provider, is making waves in the art world with his stunning large-scale pieces that portray the intricate biological processes at the cellular level. Born in Angeles City, Philippines, Cruz merges his indigenous Kapampangan identity, spiritual journey, and medical knowledge to create biomorphic forms of expression that showcase the transformative nature of ordinary biology.
In our day-to-day lives, we rarely glimpse the intricate workings happening within our bodies. Our cells quietly carry out their tasks, unnoticed and unacknowledged. However, Cruz's artistic approach invites viewers to closely examine and appreciate the inner workings of our bodies, revealing the profound changes occurring at the cellular level.
Cruz's artistic journey began in 1997 with his first solo exhibit, Tanatanaman, which beautifully intertwined the act of planting with the physiology of life. The exhibit paid homage to the cultural ideals of "planting seeds" and "bringing life out of the soil," reflecting Cruz's Kapampangan heritage. Over time, the spiky shooting structures that became his signature representation evolved to symbolize germinating seeds, a biomorphic portrayal of life transformation. In his 2017 Imperishable Seed series, Cruz's artwork clearly reflects this powerful concept. Through his art, Cruz aims to illuminate the spiritual essence of humanity, as it intertwines with scientific realities.
Cruz's artistic prowess has garnered international recognition, with exhibitions in the United States, Asia, and Europe. His works have been displayed at prestigious events such as the Florence Biennale XI in Italy, where he represented the Philippines, Art Basel Miami, the Tokyo Tower International Art Fair in Japan, and the Metropolitan Museum in Manila. Notably, Cruz has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards in painting, sculpture, and mixed media. His accolades include the Michelangelo International Prize in Rome, the CFA Award of Excellence at Spectrum Brooklyn with World Wide Art 2021, and the GOLD LIST Award for Top Contemporary Artists of Today (Art Market International Art Magazine) 2021, distributed at Art Expo New York and Florence Biennale. Additionally, Cruz was bestowed with an achievement award by the Pinacothèque Museum, recognizing his exceptional artistic quality and his participation in the international selection of the Luxembourg Art Prize. He has also been invited to exhibit at the Florence Biennale in 2023 and the 7th Edition of Personal Structures in Venice, Italy in 2024.
Jun Gueco Cruz's captivating artwork not only captivates viewers but also bridges the gap between science and spirituality. His ability to transform complex biological processes into awe-inspiring visual representations showcases the profound beauty hidden within our own bodies.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist