Frances Cruz

Mix it up!

My point of view manifests in this series of food paintings and sculptures I’ve created. It is about my own relationship with food as an Asian American who finds a lot of joy and comfort in eating. Living in an incredibly diverse area of the northeast has allowed me to discover and try out the wide variety of delicious foods out there. Despite being Filipino, I’ve come to enjoy eating foods from other cultures more often than my own culture’s food. These include American food, Italian food, Japanese food, Korean food, etc.

Looking at artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Gina Beavers, and Jennifer Coates for inspiration, these colorful still lifes are directly based on my own pleasurable memories of a lot of my favorite foods that I’ve eaten at places such as my own home, my college campus, and family gatherings. I am especially attracted to the use of texture to emulate decadence and provoke hunger in my viewers. Incorporating texture in these works has also aided me in my ability to remember how exactly something tastes and feels when it is eaten. This can be seen in the numerous marks carved into the Cookie Dough Cake to recreate the appearance of sponge cake and the cake’s strawberry jam filling in All Western that has been made gooey with wax medium, to name a few instances.

Frances Cruz

Bring in the Riches, Clip Studio Paint (digital art software), October 7, 2020734 px x 765 px

When I think about remaking histories, I wanted to imagine a better version of American society in which black Americans are given just as much fair and equal treatment as white Americans and nothing less. This would mean taking white privilege out of the equation for good. In the case of this particular drawing, white privilege becoming nonexistent would also allow black people to receive just as many job opportunities and chances to become very successful as white people in America. Unfortunately, since this hasn’t been the case in real life, black people are often given negative stereotypes based on their race. Some non-white people have been quick to associate every black person with being poor or living in the slums. In order to fight back and subvert these stereotypes, I decided to draw a well-kept black woman who runs a very successful bakery and how she should not be underestimated because of her skin color.