The world woke up to the news that visual artist and designer Carlos Cruz Diez just died in Paris today, where he lived most of his long, fruitful life (1923-2019).
Born in Caracas, Cruz-Diez developed a visual language of his ow in the 1960s, he is believed to be one of the fathers of kinetic art, which plays with the viewer’s perspective to provide the illusion of movement.
He was celebrated around the world and his work was exposed in most of the more important museums of modern art. But for Venezuelans his art is more than a source of enormous pride. The sculptures and paintings by Cruz-Diez were soon integrated into architecture by the governments of the Venezuelan democracy between 1958 and 1998. People were surrounded by his color patterns, and became used to playing with them.
Along with another Venezuelan artist of the same global importance, Jesús Soto, Cruz-Diez was the symbol of venezuelan democracy. His art was public. A promise of modernity. Oil income transformed into beauty.
And his “Cromointerferencia de Color Aditivo” for the Maiquetía airport became the background for the goodbye photo many Venezuelans took when leaving the country.
Cruz-Diez researched so much about physics and the physiology of color perception that he learned how to produce in our brains colors that were not seen in his pieces. You don’t see a Cruz Diez work, you live it.
The passing of maestro Carlos Cruz Diez, though expected for his old age, is the kind of news we see as the loss of another irreplaceable piece of the art world.
He will be missed, even when he left us so much.