Texan-born, New York-based artist Gary Cruz explores the potential for almost painterly abstraction in iPhone shot and edited works, creating compelling portraits of queer space across 30 banners playfully ensconced in aluminum-clad walls. I’ll Take You There documents the interiors of gay bars he’s visited across the country and the world, reflecting on queer sites, aesthetic, community, and history.
I’ll Take You There pairs the spontaneity of bar photos taken on an iPhone with Cruz’s consuming and ruminative process of digitally pushing, pulling, stretching and pinching images via a range of techniques and technologies. Cruz’s career in architecture and interior design informs his eye for capturing the lives and emotions of bar interiors. His unique editing process collapses and experiments on space, expanding the images away from the interiors themselves, threading a fine line of pushing into purely formal instincts while maintaining the mood and spirit of the source material.
I’ll Take You There is the second installment in the curatorial project HotHouse. Inspired by one regional queer history in Houston and in acknowledgement of the many queer histories yet to be shared, HotHouse is an ongoing curatorial project exploring current queer creators' relationships to queer history, space, aesthetics, and memory. How do we relate to the precarity, politics, and potential for comfort and joy of intentional queer spaces? What is our role in remembering and recording those spaces once they’re gone, and what might we owe to the particular queer histories of the spaces we occupy? HotHouse’s inaugural exhibition featured video artist Kameron Neal at Detroit Art Week’s Young Curators, New Ideas V, July 2019.