"Federico “Iena Cruz” Massa was born in Milan, Italy in 1981. In 2006, he graduated with a degree in Set Design from The Academy of Fine Arts, Brera.
A passion for graffiti was first evident in childhood, as he had a tendency to scribble his name all over the walls of his Milan apartment. A habit that, while not pleasing to his mother, set the stage for his life’s vocation in art.
Inspired by California skateboard culture and brands like Santa Cruz, in the 1990s Massa took to the streets with the alias “Cruz.” Tagging all over the streets of Milan, he grew to love the rebellious spirit of the graffiti world, especially the adrenaline rushes of painting on moving trains. Moving away from the graffiti style and into Street Art, he began using the symbol of a hyena (Iena). He related to its ability to appear laughing, no matter the circumstances. The alias “Cruz” more frequently became “Iena Cruz”."