Wednesday, December 30, 2009


One of my paintings was used in the current book of poetry by Brenda Cardenas called "Boomerang". You can check out the Bilingual Review/Press web site for more info on the book. Here's the original jpeg from my web site:

Saturday, November 07, 2009

thinking back

I remember so clearly summer 1984 when one of my sisters married. On our way home from the reception in my parent's car this song was playing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jesus appeared on my wrist X-rays

Jesus appeared on my wrist X-rays
Digital print, dimensions variable

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Structural Persuasions of Beauty

Structural Persuasions of Beauty: The paintings of Miguel Cortez
by Leticia Cortez

How can one begin to describe them? As one starts to see them visually; the elements he uses, consisting of thick acrylic layers, oils, plaster smoldered with kitsch, biodegradable paper, vintage photographs and found objects, begin to take shape as they are studied, seen, and absorbed. The presence or hints of images of fishes, nudes, self-portraits are executed on a background palette of rich, earthy sanguine colors ranging from burnt siennas, dark crimsons through violets and exquisite browns.

Premonition 5” features among his first abstract landscapes with figurative nudes. In this painting, the artist seems intrigued with the dynamics associated with the futurist movement .The analytical thought process in which music is used as a source to make apparent a physical and aesthetic manifestation. Musical harmony is thus found in “Premonition 5”. The rhythmic pattern of ink and oil washes is a technique Miguel manages to define as his artistic trademark. The washes in this painting allude to a certain space, unsure if it’s the foreground or the background. A nude female figure is positioned off center among textured rock-like formations, a geological landscape made from acrylic layers and gesso. This is what first captures the viewer’s eyes. As the interior space emerges through these rock formations other forms and shapes slowly transform themselves. A light bulb and horn emerge. The space filled with red, magenta and orange colors foretelling other shapes and forms to be transformed.

Elements of frottage, interior/exterior spaces, undefined shapes, nudes and textured landscapes become a premonition of what is to come in the artistic terrain. A premonition of what is evolving in the artistic development of Miguel Cortez’s private visions. He has been influenced by artists such as: Julio Galan, Alfredo CastaƱeda and Marcel Duchamp. He feels these artists mastered their own distinct technique though appropriating kitsch objects into their own language, thus transforming them and making each object an independent act in order to portray parts of the artist’s internal worlds.

Miguel’s other works titled: “Cycle,” “Windows,” “Suicide of a Chair,” and “The Birth of Lilith” completed in 1993-1994 show this influence in which he also adopts new techniques or ways to convey his patterns of thought. His creation of abstract landscapes fuses new elements as his palette widens, adding certain realities as other environments start to take shape, coming as splashes of recognition of familiar items in the canvass. Through his use of color images appear as in dreams. I have tried to translate into words, sentences what I experience viewing his work. In the midst of the inherent splendor of his strokes here, color there, everything comes alive, triggering all it encounters; the new, the imaginary into a fusion of hypnotic textures.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How’s your identity?

How’s your identity?
digital print documenting an online web project

Identity theft occurs all the time. People's credit cards/bank account info gets stolen through the internet as web scams or malware directly from one's computer. Other times people impersonate celebrities on social networks. Is this also part of identity theft or a form of flattery for the celebrity? As a test I opened an account in Facebook as the Pilsen Alderman Danny Solis. This web project lasted 2 1/2 weeks before Facebook deleted the account. Below is a high-res PDF of the entire print and includes the most interesting responses to fake Danny's posts.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

RUSE at Ben Russell Gallery

by: Corinna Kirsch

Walking along Morgan Street in East Pilsen, it’s difficult to tell which brownstone might house an art space, but for the opening of RUSE, the second exhibition at Ben Russell Gallery, the eponymous Ben Russell made it easy—sitting on a plastic lawn chair outside his front door, he welcomed visitors while over the course of the evening, his arms held a rotating cast of objects: a dog, a beer, even fireworks.

Russell, an already established filmmaker and curator, alongside co-curator Brandon Alvendia, began putting the front two rooms of his apartment and environs to use as an exhibition space this past May. The premise of each show is predicated upon a set of limitations that includes the following: one artist must produce a wall-mounted work that fills at least three quarters of the 13 x 10 ft. wall of the main exhibition space and another must make a 15-30 minute long performance. The sermon-like list of commandments goes on, but the project of Ben Russell Gallery is meta: it’s an apartment gallery, but also a curatorial project that makes transparent the boundaries of putting on exhibitions in an apartment. Why not turn a backyard into a sculpture garden, use the alleyway as a performance space, and a closet—okay, maybe it’s a tiny, windowless bedroom—into a screening room instead of disguising its existence?

In the larger of the two indoor rooms, Miguel Cortez’s surveillance project “Quien te esta mirando?” consisted of a closed-circuit camera that transmitted its video to a website, . I accessed the website, but it wasn’t showing a live-feed at the time—maybe this was part of the ruse? Propped up against the wall across from Cortez’s installation was Kelly Kaczynski’s wooden maquette of a stage, See It Always Falls Around (The Sky). The stage’s diminished scale and vertical format severed it from any functional ties and instead showed the structure’s quasi-Minimalist, gridded underside. These motifs, of surveillance and multiple points of view, continued into the screening room playing Paul Chan’s Re: The_Operation (2002) from his Tin Drum Trilogy. Bruised and wounded cartoon heads of military officials from the Bush-era introduced a montage of footage and audio culled from a variety of sources, mashing up fiction, reality, and half-truths into an endless video loop.

After the sun set, Roxanne Hopper and Julie Rudder began their alleyway performance, No One Alive Today Will Ever See This Again. The performance included a moonlight sonata that left a usually talkative crowd quiet, with the whisper-tone hush of the words Ohhhh! Beautiful! Romantic! as the audience’s epilogue that closed the evening. Perhaps RUSE was a misnomer—there was no deceit, just a humorous, playful, and candid approach to the rules of art and exhibition as a game.

Ben Russell Gallery is located at 1716 S Morgan #2F.

Original post from Art Talk Chicago:

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I am in a show at Walker Arts Center in Wisconsin in March.