Born 1984, Malabon City, Manila, Philippines, Jigger Cruz graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Far Eastern University, Manila and also trained at the De La Salle College of Saint Benilde before pursuing a full-time career as a painter. The artist has been listed in international auction houses around the world, and has exhibited in both solo and group shows locally and internationally, from the Philippines to Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, and the United States. His work can be found in multiple public collections, including: The Dikeou Collection, Denver, CO, USA; Guggenheim Museum, NY, USA; Saatchi Collection, London, UK; and Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK.
Cruz’s art practice is characterized by his idea to play with defacement and vandalization, making use of oil colour, spray paint and rough interventions directly on the canvases, which is sometimes burned and, in some cases, even to cut. Each artwork is created by the artist from a canvas previously painted, where he copied the Flemish and Post-Renaissance masters. Apparently without a logical scheme, Cruz applies layer by layer the dense oil colour, not only hiding, rather mystifying the classical backdrop. In this way the artist explores, through his artworks, the deep relationship between the canvas and its meaning, past and present, figuration and abstraction. The figures of the classical paintings that transpire below, remind the viewer of the painstaking pictorial activity and the artistic historical baggage of the contemporary painter.