The works of Marina Cruz are often rife with a palpable aura of historicity. Her technique seemingly mirrors the meticulous craftsmanship involved in the art of sewing and needlework. But instead of utilizing actual thread and fabric, what Cruz applies to her hyper-realistic works is the sentiment of history that is inherent in the very designs and textures of the fabric depicted. Materiality, for Cruz, does not only pertain to the physical presence of objects, but the role these actually-existing objects play in the creation of metaphysical and transcendental ideals such as memory, love, and passion. The dress as subject matter is intertwined with the brilliant subjectivity of the artist herself., Marina Cruz’s art is meticulously contemporary, concerned with the conflicting nature of the strong fabric design and the actual aging process of the fabric: the visibility and invisibility of its subject; the simultaneously physical and yet ethereal nature of the painted image. Through painting and installation art, her work focuses on imagery inspired by the realms of memory, history, and family. In Marina Cruz’s works, both the method of display and the individual images operate simultaneously on several different levels. She is predisposed in each exhibition to use her diverse collection of antique, nominal, and semantic material in such a way as to bring into attention some characteristic of painterly representation. She chooses a palette that, while vivid, infuse her pieces with a nostalgic feel. The threads of the dress seem to exist between a state of immaculate preservation and heady wear, a characteristic inherent to an article of clothing respected enough to maintain yet well-loved enough to use often. The internal paradox then arises, which is to love something to keep it minted in order to stand the test of time or to observe an intimate praxis in exchange for a fleeting moment in relation to the monumentality of the cosmos. For Cruz, the answer lies interwoven within both the appearance and history of her subject matter. It is, of course, the stories—personal, familial, and social—behind these well-worn dresses that fascinate and encapsulate the very nature and message of Cruz’s masterpiece. These frocks have become metaphors for both experience and memory—both stored and retrieved, hidden and then found— in a dazzling yet nostalgic dance whose only audience is the owl spreading its wings with the inevitable coming of dusk. Born in 1982, Marina Cruz is a contemporary visual artist based in Bulacan, Philippines. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines’ College of Fine Arts with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a major in painting. She has exhibited in numerous major galleries and museums, both here and abroad, such as the West Gallery, BENCAB Museum, the Ayala Museum in Manila, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and ARNDT Berlin, abroad.