2019 Create Change Fellow
Lionel Cruet is a visual artist and art educator born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He lives and works in New York City and San Juan where he has studied and exhibited his artwork. In his artistic work, he uses digital media from printed materials and audiovisual installations that confront problems related to the economy, geopolitics, and technology through referential metaphors about nature.
What motivates you to do what you do?
I create large-scale audio and visual installations, sound arrangements and videos to recreate spaces. Using imagery of natural spaces as a metaphor to understand the complex and interconnected realities we all live.
Through my artworks I am constantly confronting geopolitical issues, states de facto, economics, the act of speculation and testimonials about the relations that we create, and spaces and natural environments; always underlining a conceptual framework that comes from my experiences as a Caribbean postcolonial being as it is in dialogue with the rest of the world.
Part of my practice is to engage audiences in participatory projects, art education and literacy initiatives especially with communities of immigrant and refugees to create awareness and share narratives of life experiences, relocation, and adaptation.
What place in your neighborhood is personally meaningful to you and why?
There are multiple places and neighborhoods that I’ve been part of; ones for long periods of time or others for shorter periods of time, and they have become meaningful and special to me. What remains is the memories and experiences. In the city, I still don’t have a meaningful ‘place/neighborhood’ – because who makes a place or a neighborhood are the ones that inhabit it, that have accumulated life experiences and that have generated a sense of ownership, belonging and responsibility- that is when it becomes meaningful.
As for me, those are mostly found in many, multiple locations.