Saturday, May 27, 2006

my other sticker

one of my stickers in action, may 26, 2006.

Friday, May 26, 2006

tonight's art opening @ polvo

End of May: Mirtes Zwierzynski and Rebecca Wolfram
Opening Friday May 26, from 6pm-10pm
May 26 - June 17, 2006

mini-exhibit: samples from the polvo archives/collection
flatscreen DVD: Lucreccia Quintanilla (Melbourne, Australia)
SEE WWW.POLVO.ORG for more details

At left below, Jose David(art director for Calles y Sueños, an alternative space circa 1990s in Pilsen. He closed it in 2000) alongside Mirtes Zwierzynski, one of the artists from tonight's opening.

Rebecca Wolfram(left), the other artist from tonight's opening, writer Kari Lyderson(center) and writer Sally Forutan(right)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

another brand new print

iPod projector

iPod projector
new from Apple!

Forget trying to watch videos on a tiny screen. This new and tiny iPod can project video with clarity up to a 12" x 15" on any white surface. visit for more info.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Austin Chronicle review

I am currently in this show in Austin, Tx. and the local art critic wrote something about the show. You can see images in a previous post(see studio 107 opening below).

Slick, Furry, Lush, Line

By nikki moore, Austin Chronicle
Through June 1, 2006

“Slick, Furry, Lush, Line”, while a scintillating title to roll over the tongue, only skims the surface of the textures explored in the works of artists Young-Min Kang, Candace M. Briceno, Jeongmee Yoon and Miguel Cortez for Studio 107’s current show. Take, for example, the cultural and economic textures evoked by Young-Min Kang in the Chinese Trojan Horse, (2006). Using chopsticks, carefully broken and meticulously placed, Young-Min Kang has reconstructed an early 20th century style railroad bridge bearing up under the gallop of horse made by the same method at ten times the scale. Clearly the title of the piece looks back to the Trojan horse of war which, according to myth slipped inside the gates of Troy under the guise of a gift, and unleashed a hoard of Greeks who then proceeded to level the city. Yet Young-Min Kang also calls up the image of the work horse in his consideration of what is in play when America eagerly accepts Chinese goods and labor while bulwarking our immigration systems to a previously unparalleled extent.

And speaking of unparalleled, Jeongmee Yoon’s work for Studio 107 is a disquieting group of photographs featuring children and their collections. Far from the nostalgic and seemingly archaic bug collections and baseball card sets one might think of when pairing kids and their passions, Yoon’s photographs, including Yehyun and her pink things, (2006) and Yae Chan and his blue things, (2006) are explorations of the color-coded and primarily plastic preoccupations of children seemingly too young to own so much. While child directed marketing agencies would surely see these photos as a victory for their team, the full collection of Yoon’s work, including 20 images of children nearly lost amongst their own painfully gender coded gear is startling. The intersection of color and content in these images unveils a cultural pattern that is not easy to dismiss.

In the now more familiar medium of computer renderings, Miguel Cortez has put together what Studio 107 gallery owner Liz Joblin describes as works in meant-to-be-comforting “Martha Stewart Colors” that are nothing near comfortable. In another interesting consideration of cultural phenomena, and at the extreme of this rethink of the Jetson’s humble abode, Cortez’ sharp lined, auto-techno-scientific styled graphics point out an interesting disconnect between the false nostalgia of the American furniture and design markets – think Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware - and the high-tech industry’s state of the art.

Moving from Cortez’ artificial interior landscapes to abstract exterior landscape evocations, former AMOA 22 to Watch artist Candace M. Briceno’s Marden, (2003) uses felt on canvas to create a mass of small rolls of fabric that look so fun to touch that Studio 107 had to move a sofa in front of the piece to keep bodies and hands at a safe distance from the work. While a strong statement about both the comforting materials and their calming repetition, Joblin’s furniture move is a reminder that Studio 107 is a converted apartment, one of many at the corner of 5th and Brazos, which are newly conglomerating into a small strip of commercial galleries in Austin’s developing downtown. This growing commercial art scene is both a tangible opportunity for collectors and part of many recent and promising developments for artists who make both their home and their work here in Austin.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

new photos

I printed bumper stickers for a show in Houston(see previous post) and kept some for myself so I pasted one on my way to work this morning at 6:46am. I pasted two others around Pilsen and must photograph them before they are removed.

I came across these two also this morning and was fascinated by the form, color and texture.

Fluid Geometry and Word!

If by any chance you are in Houston this friday, check out this show that I am in.

miguel cortez

Vine Street Studios 1113 Vine St Houston, TX 77002
Fluid Geometry and Word!
Opening Friday May 19, 6-8 PM

Fluid Geometry refers to work that uses geometric design as pictorial base. Unlike pure minimalists, these artists use geometric forms merely as building blocks in order to expand their vision of concreteness and precision into an investigation of hybrid concepts and structures.

John Adelman
Harvey Bott
Wade Carter
Garland Fielder
Mike Hollis
Mick Johnson
Arielle Masson
Jusin Quinn

Word! uses the physicality of letter design and its linguistic connotation as a point of departure for the exploration of everyday language ñ both symbolic and pictorial. This exhibition within an exhibition is conceived as a variation of the main theme of Fluid Geometry. Thus, presenting the orderly sequence of written language as a geometric archetype.

Art Prostitute (Dallas)
William Betts
Todd Camplin (Dallas)
Miguel Cortez (Chicago)
Michael Henderson (Huntsville)
Skeez 181
Deb Sokolow (Chicago)
Frances Trotter
Peter Tucker (Austin)

Fluid Geometry and Word! are the 2nd exhibition of the FOCUS series at Vine Street Studios.

Exhibition continues through June 24, 2006
Work on view Monday through Friday 10AM - 5PM

For more Information contact

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Studio 107 opening

I am currently in a show in Austin and it opened this past sunday. Below are some images from the opening.

Slick, Furry, Lush, Line
Works by Candace M. Briceño, Miguel Cortez,
Young-Min Kang, and Jeongmee Yoon

Reception: Sunday May 14, 2006
3:00pm to 6:00pm at Studio 107
Exhibtion runs May 14 - June 16 2006

Studio 107
411 Brazos, #107
Austin TX 78701
Gallery Hours are
Tuesday – Saturday,
1pm – 6pm or
by appointment

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Entorno: Grass Grows Greener on the Other Side

“ENTORNO: grass grows greener on the other side” is an exhibition of Chicago based visual artists, community activists and scholars focused on the idea of “environment,” using Chicago’s landscape and its resident communities as the central theme. The city of Chicago has been going through rapid urban renewal fostered by huge promises to change the city for the betterment of its residents. In reality the persistent issues of displacement, economic class segregation, racism and ageism have come into sharper focus as a result of these renewed initiatives. This exhibition examines how visual artists, community activists and scholars look into their own communities and through their expression, critique the city government’s reactions to these crucial concerns.

Located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, Polvo is an alternative space operated by the Polvo Art Collective. This exhibition includes work by the following participants: D. Denenge Akpem, AREA Chicago, Amy Castaneda, Citizenship and Voter Training School (CIVITAS), Miguel Cortez, Anida Yoeu Esguerra, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Jesus Macarena-Avila, Naomi Martinez, Mess Hall, PERRO (Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization), Pilsen Ayuda, Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa, Bernard Williams.

This show will run until May 20. Polvo is located at 1458 W. 18th St 1R and is open Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call (773) 344-1940 or visit

Happy Mother's Day!!

I visited my parents for most of saturday afternoon, so I had to close Polvo for the day. Above is my cute son Xul eating ravioli. My father who in the past 5 years or so has discovered his creativity...and writes poems now, wrote a very heartfelt poem for my mother. My younger sister Roxanne(below) read it to my mother.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Prospectus Gallery opening

I walked to Prospectus Gallery, which is 3 blocks away from me to attend my friend Mark Nelson's opening. On the way I took these 2 shots.

Prospectus is a commercial gallery that recently reopened and a lot of the work they show is very 2d and not very challenging. Mark has done wonderful installations in the past and to see his paintings is different, and he is great at it also...there were just too many. All were too close together.I felt bombarded visually and that took away from the work.

michael piazza's funeral

Today myself, Elvia and our son Xul attended Michael Piazza's funeral to pay our respects to a colleage and close friend of many years. Elvia went over to the mic and did a wonderful speech. She is great and I also have great respect for Michael and was looking forward to seeing him at the next Polvo opening since it includes Rebecca Wolfram, an artist who was also part of the Axe Street Arena collective during the 1980s. He was also going to help out with Elizam Escobar's(another axe st arena artist) show in June. His death came as a shock to us. I could not believe it when Mirtes Zwierzinski emailed me the news. I saw him a month ago and never expected him to die so soon.

But since I love some pop culture, all this sadness reminded me of the final episode of the tv show "six feet under" and I remember the last 6 minutes. It is one of the best endings for a tv series; you see the future of the characters and the year and circumstance in which they die...awesome....sorry for that reference...i just had that damn Sia song in my mind all day.... The picture above and below is of our travel back to Chicago from the suburbs.

new art piece...1

digital print 34" x 54"
miguel cortez, 2006

new art piece...2

trash conversation
digital print, dimensions variable
miguel cortez, 2006

This print is about the dreaded monotonous conversations when one is in a long term relationship. The repetitiveness of everyday life. Stop it and talk about something else, damn it!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

new art piece...3

Recycle your ideas

limited edition of 25 bumper stickers
miguel cortez, 2006

Recycling is used to describe a series of activities that includes collecting recyclable materials that would otherwise be considered waste, sorting and processing recyclables into raw materials and manufacturing the raw materials into either making the same product(closed loop) or new products(open loop). An example of open-loop recycling is using plastic bottles to make pipes. Artists use these processes all the time. Some come up with an idea and create work using a certain style/media and repeat this for a long time to please his/her commercial gallery/collectors(this is closed loop recycling).While others may gather old ideas, twist and turn them, throw them up in the air and some new concept pops up(open loop recycling).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Michael Piazza (1955-2006)

Fellow artist and friend Michael Piazza died this past weekend. Michael had apparently been experiencing some health problems recently, but as someone without health insurance, he put off doing anything too expensive about it. A long-time heavy smoker, he had been experiencing pains in his chest. Over the weekend, he apparently began feeling bad, but resisted attempts to take him to the emergency room. His wife Laura found him dead on Sunday morning. He was 50 years old.

Immigrant March May 1, 2006

more images here:

Nationwide, a call for immigrant rights

By Michael Martinez
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 1, 2006, 2:51 PM CDT

LOS ANGELES -- From Chicago to Los Angeles, New York to New Orleans, and Miami to Denver, hundreds of thousands of predominantly Hispanic immigrants walked off their jobs, skipped school and demonstrated with friends and family members in a nationwide show of solidarity for immigration reform today.

The so-called "Day Without Immigrants" was intended as a nationwide boycott to demonstrate the importance of immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, to the nation's workforce and its economy. It sparked divisions among Americans, debate on talk radio and even a split among the organizations sponsoring it, many of whom were divided over whether it might cause a backlash against immigrants across the country.

An estimated 300,000 people had gathered by early afternoon in Chicago and hundreds of thousands more were expected later at rallies in New York City and Los Angeles. Smaller rallies were planned in 50 other cities, even in such far-flung places as Connecticut and South Dakota.

"We are the backbone of what America is, legal or illegal, it doesn't matter,'' said Melanie Lugo, who was among thousands attending a rally in Denver with her husband and their 3rd-grade daughter. "We butter each other's bread. They need us as much as we need them.''

Authorities were beefing up patrols, many businesses voluntarily closed, and hundreds of protestors began gathering hours early this morning in downtown Los Angeles for what organizers hope will be the nation's largest demonstration against anti-immigrant legislation. A similar rally drew 500,000 in March, the largest turnout of any city that month.

In fact, demonstrators will be holding two marches in Los Angeles today, the other beginning in the afternoon in the heavily Latino neighborhood of MacArthur Park. To be led by several local officials including Cardinal Roger Mahony, those demonstrators will walk down L.A.'s grandest course, Wilshire Boulevard.

In addition to many undocumented immigrants who expected to boycott their jobs to go to demonstrations across the nation, many high school students in Los Angeles also didn't show up to their classrooms, despite officials' threats of citing and punishing them for truancy.

Throughout the United States, the day is meant to be a moment of walkouts, boycotts and political expression. The daylong events have been called by some "A Day Without Immigrants," inspired partly by the film "A Day Without A Mexican." The rallies aim to put pressure on Congress as the Senate and House struggle to pass immigration legislation this year.