Esperanza Cortés’s installations and paintings in Entre Sombras - Site of Memories, are tokens of human frailty, fears, and injustices that as a woman, mother, Colombian and Latina shape the world she sees. The Lorenzo Homar Gallery was fully resurfaced and smoothed as an essential part of the installation. Working with glass beads, clay, pigments and household objects such as chairs, sewing machine tables, metal chains and a basket she transformed into a bassinet, Cortés seeks to connect with individuals on a primal level, jolting the viewer with the familiarity of these objects against the otherwise stark presentation. She sees the female form and femininity as a center that is encircled and encompassed by compassion, violence, life, death, place and belonging.
The works presented here touch on the consequences of violence on women through war and abuse, exploitation of resources, financial insecurity, birth and death, and racial profiling.
Cortés, born in Bogotá, Colombia, emigrated to New York City at the age of four. Her interest in art began as a child and was shaped by her experiences in the Catholic Church through its ceremonies, altars, architecture and stained glass windows. She was also drawn into the arts by her family, her father’s work with metal, her mother’s knitting, beadwork and crocheting, and her grandmother’s cooking and stories of her native Colombia. As an artist, she sees a duality between personal and community roles. Within the gallery walls, her work feeds on her personal visions and experiences. Out in the streets, her methodology changes. Her work reacts to the environment, and, as she describes, is “in dialogue with its surroundings.”
Cortés lives and works in New York and has exhibited widely throughout the United States in places such as the Neuberger Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, the Cleveland Art Museum, and the Mexic-Arte Museum in Texas.
Curator Rafael Damast
2008 - 2010 table, mirror, glass beads on clay
54” L x 36” H x 20” D
This installation honors the Curandera (healer) in latin culture, individuals who have dedicated their lives to maintaining the physical and spiritual well being and equilibriumof their families and communities. the pieces represent the instruments and fruits of their Labors.
Glass beads on cla
2010Clay, wood, 14”L x 9”W x 8”D
Desaparecidas notes the ongoing struggle for human rights and the resulting disappearing of people around the world. Overlooked and ignored by the powerful their lives inspire and effect change in their communities and the world at large
2013 basket, pigment, machine base, glass beads,metal beads, wood beads, ribbon, 70” L x 40” H x 22” D
The resource curse - countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. this economic term was created to distract from the fact that these countries have endured centuries of colonial rule and exploitation. These works highlight the resources for which these cursed countries are both known and exploited.
Stone baby a term used for a medical condition in which a child dies and remains inside it’s mother. Too large to be absorbed by the body, the remains of the child and it’s surrounding amniotic sac slowly calcify, turning to stone as a way to protect the woman’s body from possible infection due to the decomposing tissue. I feel that the Stone Baby is a perfect symbol for the dead gestation of so many third world countries whose histories and possibilities have been aborted in order to create the comforts for the first world.