Derrick R. Cruz is the artist behind Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons. A New York native, Cruz was raised in Puerto Rico and returned to the U.S. for a Fine Arts degree in painting. While in art school he received local and international awards for his densely detailed mixed-media works. Following graduation, Cruz taught Graphic Arts at NC Wesleyan College and continued to operate Cruz Gallery of Art, which he founded. In 2001, he reclaimed his birth city. The irrepressible energy of the New York art and fashion scene immediately fueled Cruz to pursue new ways of expressing his personal aesthetic. Enter Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons.

With a penchant for combining traditionally distinct media, Cruz bands scrimshaw, silver and gold with works in resin, bronze and precious stones to wave one conceptual flag. His alluringly dark objects give a nod to New York's somber sense of irony and bind the classic and contemporary to offer a timeless yet relevant aesthetic. In 2007 Derrick R. Cruz received the Gen Art Styles International Design Awards for accessories.

Dark Memento... Handcrafted Object for Contemplation and Remembering

Dark Memento should be worn, however, designer Derrick R. Cruz expects more from those who handle the collection. "I want people to become fetishists; to always consider what makes objects special, down to their every imperfection...maybe even allow things to incite meaning, like amulets or old myths."

Packaging is an integral part of the narrative Cruz intends to weave - every piece lies in an artfully crafted wood box carved like a book. Cradle inside is a detailed jewelry collection depicting a band of head-strong archetypes. Historical or imagined, each rendering is unique.

Cruz handcrafts each piece using precious metals to emphasize longevity and rarities to signal fleeting time. In the end, one's tendency is to consider a piece, put it to use and return everything to its proper place securing the experience for a moment in the future.

View the Black Sheep & Prodigal Sons Collection