Why to put your heart in the matter of art also: why you can not rule the world from your bed

Logan De La Cruz, Artist, New York City

Logan, why does one become an artist and what the hell is art anyway?

Good one!

I am reading the Andy Warhol Diaries right now and he asked himself the same question:

“What is art? Does it really come out of you or is it a product? It’s complicated”

To respond to Andy, I think it’s both. My art comes from my experiences and desires and I turn it in a physical manifestation – or product – that I can share with the world.

Well, I will only speak for myself here, but I officially chose “Artist” as a profession when I came to the realization that there’s nothing else that brings me so much joy and happiness.  Something is running through my veins that keeps me incessantly creating.

„I was heading somewhere to probably get in trouble.“

„He lays on my couch“ by Logan De La Cruz

Remember when you’ve realized that for the first time?

My earliest memory is when I was probably 13 or 14, on a Miami city bus, heading somewhere to probably get in trouble, and I had my journal with me. I used to carry a journal with me everywhere as I roamed the city by myself and would write down things I saw or heard, write poetry and sketch. This particular time, I was redrawing Alanis Morissette’s „Under Rug Swept“ album cover because I really liked the graphic quality of it. I guess this older woman saw my sketch as she was getting off the bus and she decided to pat me on the shoulder and say, “keep at it”.

It was a sort of “knighting” in many ways.

In high school I noticed I enjoyed art classes more than anything and made sure I would continue them in college, which I did and eventually majored in it!

You do photography, paintings and murals. What project are you currently working on?

For the first time, I’m doing series in both photography and paintings simultaneously. I used to do painting one season, and photography another, just to keep things fresh and challenging.

For painting, I’m collaging Halloween costume masks onto wood panels — just did a Batman mask actually.

Batman Halloween mask, red
Batman Halloween mask, yellow

And for photography, I’m working on a “Clarity” portrait series where I ask the model to sit and meditate while I photograph them.

Clarity, Andrew
Clarity, Justin
Clarity, Matthew

I don’t know why but I really like the „And.E“ photo series you have taken. What is the story behind that?

Well, as you have figured out, And.E. refers to Andy Warhol, who is one of my idols. From what I’ve seen and read, Andy seemed to be, let’s say, sexually reserved. I guess with the series, I’d like to portray him in a different, erotic light.

„And.E is the artwork“
„And.E on his throne“
„And.E with his tongue out“

What is a piece of art that still gets you? No matter how often you have already looked at it?

Caravaggio’s “Medusa”.

Caravaggio’s Medusa

And why’s that?

It’s just, so beautifully painted, and I believe it’s on a circular canvas, which is not a standard for these masters. I love the anguish on her face and blood splattering everywhere.

On top of Medusa being one of my favorite Greek characters, I remember seeing this in person for the first time in Italy and feeling completely beside myself. I mean, how can I ever achieve such greatness?

Well, thats up to the people to say some day, I guess.

Very true! It’s out of my hands once I give it to the world.

Artist Logan De La Cruz

Are you ever 100% satisfied with your art? I can imagine that someone like you never rests and has like a million thoughts on his mind all the time.

You’ve imagined correctly. I can’t say I’m ever absolutely satisfied but at some point, you just have to let it go before it’s “overworked”. There’s nothing worse than it being “overworked”, being “underworked” still seems to have its charm on people. It really all depends on the aim of the piece.  If I want to capture an emotion or a moment, I can only try so much to really capture something that is already gone.

„I can’t rule the world from my bed!“

You have lived in Miami, New Hampshire & Munich. Now you’ve been living in New York. How much of an inspirational influence does the place where you live have on your art?

It means everything. Each place has had it’s unique vibe and each place has brought wonderful people into my life.

In Miami, I photographed the homeless and sketched a lot because I would explore the city by myself on trains and buses.

In New Hampshire, I had a taste of wealth and unlimited resources to create art, so my pieces were grand and exploratory.

Munich brought me love and heartache and it produced one of my best series to date.

And New York has taught me to be fearless with my work.

What is No.1 on your bucket list as an artist? Do you have like a big goal you want to accomplish?

Like Madonna said, to rule the world!

Well, nothing left to say on this one! 

Last question: Why do you get up in the morning? 

If I didn’t get up in the morning, I’m probably dead. Who knows how much time I have in this life, and there’s still so much more to accomplish. These days, I’m getting up for love; love for my work and for the people in my life.

I can’t rule the world from my bed.

Interview conducted in August 2015

All photos provided by courtesy of Logan De La Cruz

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