MUSE & CO. Fine Art

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Manny Cortez  

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Manny's Bio

I was born in Manila, Philippines. Shortly after, my family and I moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where we lived for more than 8 years before moving and settling in the U.S. I remember excelling in elementary art class, sketching in my free time and carrying my polaroid camera everywhere. Although, I was fascinated with art and music at an early age, I did not actively pursue a career in the arts until my second year in college.

Through out high school and college, my favorite thing to do has always been to go to concerts and music festivals. This has contributed to my deep fascination and love for music. Music is always on when I'm working. The subjects of my work vary from portraits to abstractions, but they almost always involve some sort of musical theme.

It wasn't until my junior year at VSU that I was exposed to Cy Twombly's work. His paintings not only angered me at first, but it also confused me, leading me to rethink my own ideas of what art is. Since then, I've been intrigued by the abstract expressionist painters and their views on art and life. It seems as though they live in their own world and only abide by their own rules. Although some of their reasoning or thinking is difficult to grasp at times, it is a strange and mysterious world that I feel compelled to explore and try to understand.

The styles of painting that I am currently studying include the New York Abstract Expressionist movement and the Bay Area Figurative painters. They include Jean Michel Basquiat, Hans Hofmann, Willem De Kooning, Nathan Oliveira, Jim Dine and Wayne Thiebaud.

There's something about mark making, erasing and stacking layers of colors and shapes that bring me a sense of calm. For me, painting is a meditative process and a good painting session really clears my head of everyday stress and fears. The act of creation and destruction, I believe is a universal human urge and I choose to use paint to let loose. When I paint, I enter a world where my mind is still and time seem to slow down. In this space I am more aware and appreciative of every little thing; my breathing, my thoughts, my surroundings, and life itself. Simply put, I feel more alive on days that I paint than on days when I don't paint.

My approach to painting involves improvisation, experimentation and making order out of chaos. The slow build up of layers create a rich texture on the surface until eventually, an image reveals itself. This is the exciting part. Sometimes it happens on the first day. Sometimes it takes months to unearth an image that I'm happy with. I welcome mistakes and accidents because sometimes they become the most interesting part of the painting.

My future plans include working in an art therapy setting to help people discover the healing powers of art making. I especially would like to work with those suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's and other mental disorders. For some, art making may be their only vehicle for expressing themselves and those are the people I would like to reach out to. I'd like to help them further develop their art skills, thus increasing their self esteem and self worth. I'm a firm believer that art and music therapy should be (and is increasingly becoming) a primary mode of therapy. In my opinion, psychiatric drugs should be reserved for emergencies and not as preventative measure in dealing with depression and other mental issues. I've experienced first hand, the healing effects of art making; from the immediate stress relief of painting, to the knowledge and insights we gain from reflecting on what we've painted. Even an absolute beginner with no artistic background can benefit from art therapy and I would like to share my knowledge and techniques with them to help deep their practice and hopefully ease their suffering.

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Muse & Co. Fine Art Featured Artists. Roswell Georgia Art Gallery

Aaron Goodenough
April Riley
David Eldreth
David Robinson
Donna Cassaro Hughes
Emily Ozier
Garnet Reardon
Harriet Goode
Heida Halldorsdottir
Helen Lewis
Isabelle Gautier
Jeff Surace
Jessica Bush
Juanita Bellavance
Kathryn Fortson
Kathy King
Kim Dean
Laura Dewberry Surace
Lauren Betty
Leslie Newman
Manny Cortez
Marisa Marinetto
Mark Little
Mary Beth Cornelius
Mary Pratt
Nancy Betty
Nicole Merkens
Pat Zalisko
Penny Tresse
Rachael Zaudke Wilkins
Rae Broyles
Shelley Hopkins
Stacey Lawrence
Timothy Michael
Zheng Li