Cortez transforms objects into artwork

WATCH IT—Poison signs and skeletons are a small fraction of the "SUDDENLY WE HAD nothing" art exhibit by Xavier Cázares Cortéz at the Vincent Price Art Museum. CN/ Joseph Recinos

By Maria Gonzalez

Xavier Cazares Cortéz’ exhibit “SUDDENLY WE HAD nothing,” showing at the Vincent Price Art Museum, is an artistic collage depicting globalization through unique techniques and messages. “My artistic production cycle involves actively taking systems and structures and destroying them. Then recovering the pieces and transforming them into something new,” said Cortéz .

When entering the HOY Space wing of the museum, the overwhelming objects of this collection are aligned in color-coded rows on tables. From a distance the objects seem to be related to one another, because of the way they are aligned, but when taking a closer look, each object has its own story.

This can be described as mixed-media because of all of the resources Cortéz employs. In one of the collages, “Numbered Sheep #5-31 C,” he uses words and scribbles to tell how animals are killed for the consumption of humans.

On one table, empty bottles that once contained perfume or lotion, for instance, are colored white. “My work does not discriminate between low-grade and expensive materials, but instead pushes the boundaries of the fixed objects with no reservations,” said Cortéz. Cortéz said that his work is meant for people to create their own meaning.

“Suddenly We Had Nothing” is a mixture of objects that reflect how people today are compulsive buyers. This motif reflects on how humans consume more than what they actually need. “My objective is to research, teach and create art forms that allow us to probe further and deeper and what may ultimately make us broader, smarter, faster and hopefully freer,” said Cortéz.

Cortéz explains how some of the elements he selected take a different meaning in one’s life. “In the course of one’s life, a possession can take on different characters, moving in and out of concreteness and mystery,” said Cortéz.

“Art is a form of social production and the work of art is part of that equation. It is ultimately the viewer that completes the work of art,” said Cortéz. He said that he is drawn by conspicuous objects that convey human consumption.

There will be a walk-through with the artist March 22, from 7 to 8 p.m.  The exhibit will run through April 27.

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