“Emerald” by Esperanza Cortés.
Gouache, ink, and rhinestones, over archival print on watercolor paper on mat.
17” x 15 1/4” matted
Signature on front, below mat.
Of her work “Emerald”, Cortés says: “Here I explore the theme of injustice that is at the roots of the predatory gem and mineral excavation industry. While at a residency in Knoxville, Tennessee, I discovered that Oakridge was only 30 miles away. Oakridge played a key role in the development of the Atom Bomb and the Manhattan Project. I began an exploration and comparison of Uranium and Emeralds. These minerals look very much alike, beautiful but dangerous on their effect on civil conflict. Colombia my birthplace, has the finest Emeralds in the world. The mining of Emeralds was an important element in the continued colonization of the region. Emeralds have helped to fund the more than 60-year conflict which has taken over 450,000 lives and displaced about 5.7 million people.
Esperanza Cortés is a Colombian born multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Cortés’ passion for the mosaic of the Americas, its folk art traditions, rituals, music, dance and their ever evolving changes are at the core of her sculptures, paintings, installations, site-specific projects and interventions.
Cortés has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in venues including Smack Mellon Gallery, Bronx Museum of Art, Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, MoMA PS1 and Socrates Sculpture Park in NYC. National exhibitions include Albright-Knox Gallery, Turchin Center for The Visual Arts, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Art Museum. She has been part of international exhibitions in Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Japan, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Spain and Greece.
Cortés’ awards include: Shortlist 2022 Creative Capital, John Simon Guggenheim, Hispanic Society Museum and Library Artist Research Fellowship, BRIC Media Arts Fellowship, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Puffin Foundation Grant, New York State Biennial, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and the Sustained Achievement in the Visual Arts Award.
Cortés’ residencies include: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, McColl Center for Arts + Innovation, Museum of Arts and Design, BRIC Workspace, Joan Mitchell Center, Webb School of Knoxville, Sculpture Space, Fountainhead Residency, Bronx Museum – AIM Program, MoMA PS1 Residency, Socrates Sculpture Park, Abrons Art Center, Longwood Art Project, Altos de Chavon, Can Serrat and Bielska BWA Gallery.
Cortés’ work has been reviewed by Artforum, Artnews, Artnet, Hyperallergic, New York Times, BELatina, Whitehot, New Art Examiner and Art in America. International reviews include multiple media platforms in Europe, South America and the Caribbean.
Cortés has designed programs as a museum educator, artist in residence, and community artist creating murals, sculptures, site-specific installations and Afro-Latin Dance programs through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Artist Space, Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Wave Hill, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of Art, and the Museum of Art and Design.
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