My first encounter with art came when I was 14 through a library founded by the teacher Francisco Toledo at Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca. Later I studied Plastic Arts at Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (University of Oaxaca). With friends from university I founded the Burro Press and Mini Print Oaxaca workshops – the latter as an initiative to motivate the development and production of printmaking in Oaxaca through an annual contest held there.
I've always made pencil drawings and it was through this discipline that I got to know engraving, a technique that creates multiples and democratises opportunities to view the work. Within its many techniques, such as lithography, woodcut and metal, engraving makes use of and combines the world of black and white, chiaroscuro, high contrast – all characteristics shared with drawing. I try to keep all of the original drawings but most of them go through a process of changes when I transfer the sketches to the different engraving techniques, so they do tend to suffer edits, cuts and alterations that damage the paper.
All the sketches I work on are letter size loose sheets (22 x 28 cm). Most of the final engravings are small format. I choose that dimension because I like to finish the images as soon as possible. It is difficult for me to spend many days working on the same idea, engraving being a process of many steps from drawing to carving and printing. Small images require a greater physical approach and I think that creates a more intimate moment for the viewer. Larger engravings are made only if the idea requires a greater impact on size or if the level of detail requires more space.
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View Alberto Cruz's works here