Dan Cruz is a self taught artist, designer, and director.
A native New Yorker born to a father who emigrated from Peru and a Puerto Rican mother who was born in the Bronx, Dan grew up in his child hood home on the border of East NY, Brooklyn and Ozone Park, Queens.
As an 80s baby Dan remembers when New York was a dangerous drug and gang infested terrain and has witnessed and been a part of the vast cultural changes which have occurred over the years.
He attended and dropped out of Murry Bergtraum High School in the Lower East Side of Manhattan eventually receiving a GED. Later he earned an associates degree in Electronic Engineering from DeVry University and while working on his bachelors he again left school early, after receiving an opportunity in the banking industry.
His work as an artist began in part in 2006 when he decided to start a screen printing company with his best friend Miguel Mendez.
The economic downturn of 2008 thrust him into the role of full time self employed artist and entrepreneur after the company he worked for (Washington Mutual) went bankrupt and he subsequently became unemployed.
With 2 years of experience screen printing and designing he took to the streets of New York city to sell t-shirts at Union Square and later Soho. Although being fairly successful immediately with apparel on the streets due to strict street vending laws Cruz was arrested 5 times within a two year period. The latest of which had Cruz facing weeks in jail.
As a result it became obvious he needed to create new products and a different business strategy. He sold shirts at house parties thrown with friends and live concert venues.
In order to keep his street work alive he began painting and selling paintings, sculptures and screen prints on canvas and paper.
To this day he can still be found on the streets of Soho on a regular basis. He is a staple on Prince st. between Wooster and Greene and has helped keep Soho's reputation for maverick outsider art alive. He continues to hone his craft and expand upon his skills as a craftsman in fine art, illustration, sculpture, fashion design, photography and video.
Major Art Influences: Comic Books, Street Fashion, Jack Kirby, Andy Warhol, MC Escher, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ron English, Robert Williams, Banksy, Pablo Picasso, Frank Stella, Francis Bacon, Rene Magritte
Philosophical Influences: Charles T. Russel, Noam Chomsky, Jacque Fresco, George Carlin