If you're unfamiliar with Aaron De La Cruz's work then you've probably been asleep for more than a few years, so welcome back to the world. His freehand style is hard to explain to someone who hasn't seen it because it is seems to contradict itself in the most beautiful ways. The marks he makes can appear random and free, but the compositions are complex and structured. With the ability to see patterns and shapes in everything, De La Cruz fills empty spaces with grids of lines and curves that look as if they were left by an otherworldly intelligence or mapped out by a computer.
We caught up with the artist and asked him about the "Most Oddinism" exhibition presented by Topsafe London, his early influences, what music he listens to, and his plans post Art Basel Miami Beach.
What work are you bringing with you to Art Basel Miami Beach this year? Did you make it especially for the fair week?
I will be showing a new body of work for "Most Oddinism," which will be one large three-dimensional piece, two giclee prints, and two ink drawings.
What does the term "post-street art" mean to you, as far as the "Most Oddinism" show goes? Now that street art has become so big, how do you see or differentiate "the street" versus "the gallery" or outdoors versus indoors? Is there a point in seeing the two as separate anymore?
For me, the term represents a point where my work is at right now and something the artists in "Most Oddinism" all have in common. We all once did this form of art illegally (some still do), and having rode the wave of the street art movement, we find ourselves in the gallery just as comfortably as we do when working in an outdoor setting. Yes, I think there is a point in seeing the two separately, as the audience is completely different, and if you are a person who values their opinion, then I think it matters very much.
How do you feel that your work exists on the plane where visual forms and letters meet? Has this always been a priority for you or aesthetically intentional?
I feel that my work is influenced by form and objects that I work within. I happen to use letters along with the movements made to create those letters in almost all of my work.
In both in your work and in the work of other artists and street artists, how do you feel that reducing forms adds to or changes the meaning of something?
I think the idea of reduction increases the amount of interaction you have with the viewer. I personally feel that the mind fills in the blanks, or in my case, adds color to black and white works. It's just like how reading a book will create a visual in your head.
On that note, what visual artists did you grow up admiring? Do you feel like you've translated any of their aesthetic or practices into your art-making?
Dave Kinsey, KAWS, Barry McGee, and too many others that I can't think of at the moment...but these three come to mind first.
What music are you listening to these days?
Funny you should ask, I just deleted all the music on my phone on accident, and since then have been listening to the Yeezus album this past week, trying to find out why everyone is doggin' Kanye. It's cool so far.
What's your advice for aspiring artists, street artists, or post-street artists?
Learn how to read a contract, take a business class, and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.
What are your plans after Miami? Any upcoming exhibitions or projects to keep on our radar, including the Benny Gold one?
After Miami I have a ton of projects lined up. The ones I can talk about are the Benny Gold show, a print show at Soze Gallery (Dec 3) where I will be showing two sold out APs prints, and a new mirror piece at The Seventh Letter grand opening for their gallery/store on Dec 7. After that, some trips abroad and back at Pow Wow Hawaii in February.