Go figure: Young woman artist explores the female body

Art has always felt like home for Kim Cruz.

The 24-year-old TV host and visual artist was exposed to life’s finer things at an early age through her parents, who are collectors of figurative art.

Yet it was only two years ago when she took art seriously by using charcoal and pastel on her sketches.

In June 2021, Cruz held her debut exhibit, Figure Study.

This was followed by Nymphéas in March 2022.

‘CYANIDE,’ 5x6ft — 60 x 72 inches, acrylic and pastel on canvas.

Daily Tribune caught up with the former MYX VJ and ESPN Philippines host at the opening of her third show, Les Paradis Perdus at Modeka Art Gallery in Makati. The event is a collaboration with French photographer Camille Robiou Du Pont whom she met in Siargao in 2021.

“We want to mix both art (forms) and create something stronger. Paintings and photos are different, but if they are mixed together, it brings more life. It’s a very cool process,” says Du Pont.
Daily Tribune (DT): Have you always been into art?

Kim Cruz (KC): I took up Art Business. Initially, what I wanted to do was curation and art dealing. But for some reason, I would just paint. As a child, I never thought I would do painting as a job. I had reservations when I started. I wasn’t confident enough. I learned through people I met and from different artists I deal with.

DT: I’ve noticed your works center on the female figure. Is it your main focus?
KC: Well, yes. As a woman, I think it’s easier to understand the body of a woman and appreciate it.

FEMALE forms and figures are the center of Kim Cruz’s art.

DT: Where do you get inspiration?
KC: I meet a lot of women. I had sessions where I photograph them and they let me draw and sketch them. I go through a lot of changes as a person. I’m still young. I’m still figuring out what I want to be like or how I am as a woman. (But) my art has changed in the past few years.

DT: How do you describe yourself as an artist?
KC: I’ve been painting professionally for only two years. I like to focus on figurative art. I’m having fun learning abstraction and playing with colors, too. I’m deeply inspired with women in general. I want to see art and I want to feel like I can connect to it. That’s the beauty of being a woman painting other women. You get to know other women as well. It’s very selfless. Eventually I’d like to be an artist who knows and connects with different types of people. It is something deep and meaningful.

‘SUPERPOSITION,’ 3x4ft — 36 x 48 inches, acrylic and pastel on canvas.

DT: Who are the artists you look up to?
KC: BenCab is number one if it’s a Filipino artist. I’m a huge fan of Jenny Seville, an amazing British painter who does a lot of figurative art. Cecily Brown, too.
DT: What’s it like to collaborate with another female artist like Camille Robiou Du Pont?
KC: It’s very inspiring and amazing that Camille and I could do something together and put our big female energy out there. We feel powerful as women.

DT: Are there more exhibits in the pipeline?
KC: Hopefully this is not the last. I’ll have some international shows in 2023.

DT: Are you in this for the long haul?
KC: I’m passionate about what I do and art is something that’s going to last me a lifetime. No matter if it’s in the business side or producing art. I want to be in this for a long time. I have a good feeling about it. I’m super happy about what I do.

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