Vermillion and Cadmium Yellow Polka Dots with Flowers2018, 243.84 x 182.88 cm
Marina Cruz born 1982, Bulacan, Philippines, lives and works in Bulacan, Philippines

Painted dresses, magnified from a certain spot and rendered in detail, call for a formalist mode of interpretation. In the hands of Marina Cruz, they undergo a process of sublime composition to produce an effect similar to minimalist abstraction. The patterns found in each textile - whether checkered, dotted, lace-patterned, or pinstriped - recall the works of abstractionists who focused on to the interaction between colors and shapes.

The clothes that Cruz paints are part of a deeper fabric of remembering forgotten family narratives: her chance encounter with a heap of family heirlooms, and discovering the small dresses that her mother and her mother’s twin sister wore as children, which left a lasting impression on her. The damaged, brittle condition of the tiny dresses opened up a remarkable world from the past able to be codified through such objects. From then on, Cruz began to unearth more than a hundred dresses made by her grandmother for her mother and aunt. She proceeded to paint them, embroider them, cast the in resin, and use them in installations and videos for exhibitions. For her, they served as a family archive, through which the unspoken lives and histories of an earlier generation were embedded.

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