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Joe Cruz, London illustrator
Courtesy of Joe Cruz

The illustrator putting beauty through a photocopier

London-based artist Joe Cruz trawls charity shops and the internet for images of beautiful women before re-imagining them with colourful chalk

Illustrator Joe Cruz has been trawling charity shops, old photography journals and the internet for inspiration in a bid to celebrate beauty. Originally from Tottenham in north London, he completed his BA in graphic design in Norwich before landing himself in Hertfordshire. “My main materials are a photocopier and chalk pastels,” he tells us of his process of reappropriating found imagery into the brightly coloured reincarnations. “Over time I source images until I have a number visuals that appeal to me. The work is very much process driven and hands on, and I make creative choices based on feelings and inspirations in that moment.” Particularly drawn to strong women, he says: “I am trying to create a new aesthetic to embrace the feeling of youth in our generation, as well as representing the diversity in race, culture, religion and sexuality. I’m very drawn to portraiture. Visual influences include religious icons, pop art and tribal decorations.” His latest exhibition, hosted at London’s The Book Club, will see the past three years of his oeuvre come together, curated by Liat Chen, launching this Friday, 4 September, 2015.

Cruz’s work will be on display at London’s The Book Club from Friday 4 September – 18 November, 2015