Interview with Miguel Cortez - Visual Artist
by © Rocío Heredia
tell us something about yourself, where did you grew up and dreamed of
becoming as a child?
I arrived in the USA at the age of 8.
did you discover your talent and decided to become a full-time artist?
I guess when I was 14 I discovered I enjoyed drawing and painting so I
decided to go to a fine arts highschool until 18. Then pursued it further
in college until age 22.
did you feel when you discovered that you had art talent beyond others
I guess that idea of having art talent beyond others is part of an artist's
ego, but one soon meets other talented artists and you realize you are
not that special.
was your first painting and might you have a picture of that first work?
I do not have a picture of my first painting. I think it was a done with
tempera paint when I was 14-15 years old.
is your formal training? How did you acquire your knowledge and skills
as a painter?
Many years of school and learning on my own.
your parents give you the encouragement you needed? Were there other artists
in your family?
parents would have liked that I would have studied a different trade,
more into business, but they have accepted my decision since then.
do you conceive you having a formal art education has affected you as
I think it has improved it.
someone has your gift of art, should they go to art school and why?
To learn various techniques as well as art history and meet other people
to interact and share ideas with.
cultural, artistic, and/or political movements have you been influencing
you the most?
There are too many to mention but some are: DADA, FLUXUS, Mexican Mural
movement, Abstract Expressionism, etc.
you inspired by particular places or spaces?
Various things inspire me. It could be visiting a historic building, or
a new city, new culture, or finding a rusted object on the street. Anything
could inspire an idea.
present or past artists do you admire?
Malevich, Duchamp, Basquiat, Warhol, Pollock, Kline, Dennis Oppenheim,
is the inspiration behind your painting?
Life, the daily interaction with everything.
you give us your personal definition of art?
Art to its basic definition is just a form of expression.
is your favorite medium for your paintings? What are your favorite materials?
For many years I have used acrylic and oils.
us about your use of color.
It ranges from using earth tones and getting an aged rustic look to the
paintings to using more bright colors/pastels on my recent series.
is a fascinating relationship of your work to abstract art. Please define
your style. Would you explain how you have developed it to its current,
very unique status?
I started by doing figurative work all throughout school and gradually
started dissecting the figure until all you saw was interesting forms
using color and texture.
is the relevance of the abstract art today?
Abstract art may or may not have any relevance today. I think it is just
a style or a way of doing art and will exist as long as artists continue
to do this type of art.
you think the Internet has contributed to the promotion of your artwork?
Yes it has. I receive emails every so often by people in other countries
who come across one of my web sites and enjoy certain paintings.
the Internet have a positive or negative influence on art?
I think it is very positive, and it is another type of medium for the
artist. One can build an interactive web site based on programming and
html, and that in itself is the art, not just putting up JPEGS of your
challenges have you found in your work?
I constantly push myself into experimenting either within painting or
using other materials.
aspiration as an artist is most important to you?
To interact with the viewer on some type of level and inspire or influence
you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.
I continue doing new series of paintings but have been working in doing
more digital collages and designing political or absurd stickers to be
placed in public areas as well as doing more installations and experimenting
by getting away from 2D art.
advice would you give to young artists?
If you have talent continue and never give up.
how do you feel you have been blessed personally as a result of embracing
the life of an artist?
The life of an artist is tough because it does not guarantee financial
success only spiritual well being.
Interview © August 2003 Rocío Heredia.
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