ricardo cruzes ricardo cruzes

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”

Cruzes + Vargas = 3 is an artistic project in which it is possible to identify the unfoldings of this proposition. The collaboration between Ricardo Cruzes, artist, and Rui Vargas, architect, resulted in plastic forms structured by four hands, not easily detecting where the trace of one ends and the creative burst of the other begins. However, they do not completely erase the marks of confrontation and the awareness of the difference in knowledge, experiences, methodologies, and professional paths of each one, formulating an important metaphor in this meeting of cultures, as they prove the constructive fecundity of the tension between two (or more) individual parts, which results in a third element, an “other”, with its own characteristics and innovative meanings, greater than the addition A + B. With the Algarve sea in the landscape, in particular, the view that the city of Lagos (once, the Islamic Zawaia) offers and opens to travel (real and imaginary), and the influences that Vargas brings from his regular professional contact with native people from the Middle East – Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Dubai, visible in motifs, patterns, and colors that are repeated, reminiscent of the tapestries of Bedouin women, Cruzes and Vargas currently discover in the historical connection between Arab-Islamic and Portuguese cultures narrative substance to explore, compose and transmit the creative potential inherent in artistic collaboration and intercultural dialogue. The intersection of Vargas’ experience in the field of Architecture and his knowledge of traditional and modern Islamic architecture, and Cruzes’ mastery of different principles, materials and artistic techniques, is evident in the conceptions of volume and space perceived in his pieces, level of forms – with the figure of the cube, three-dimensional, planimetric and negative, to be highlighted, of the places and environments that the pieces occupy – such as the beach, which gives new, sensitive and semantic dimensions to the artistic object at the same time as accentuates its ephemerality, from the observation angles created by the photographic record, which produces horizontal and vertical coordinates, or even at the level of performance with the presence of a human, female body, hidden by a black niqab, which in some occasions accentuates the ephemeral character of the plastic installation, and in others contributes to intensify the conflict between tradition and freedom, between the real and the ideal. But, despite and before any interpretation, in the work of Cruzes + Vargas, it is possible to feel the intuition, the game of imagination and the pleasure of experimentation, the creative energy that is born from dialogue, polyphony, and the path they create between ideas.

Instagram: @cruzesvargas