Meet the Artist: Denise Cortes, Pearmama

Artist Statement: 

Hello, my name is Denise Cortes and I'm a mixed media artist hailing from Southern California. My work is a combination of paper collage, ink and acrylics; multi-layered and inspired by Mexican and indigenous esthetics. People have asked me time and time again why I am so obsessed with Frida Kahlo. Friducha and I have been rolling together since I was 18, when I saw her in a fashion magazine. I loved everything about her -- her style, her face, her art, her journey. But it wasn't until I really grew up and experienced life that I fully understood where my passion for her originated. I am deeply affected by Frida's pain and her quiet strength through it all. 

In the midst of health issues (the trolley)
marriage woes (Diego)
multiple infidelities (women)
betrayal by her beloved sister (Cristina)
infertility (so many lost babies)
working as a female artist amidst the Mexican machismo of the day (and in the shadow of her famous muralist husband)

she was still able to create art that was both raw and beautiful and so relatable. 

Our pain, our struggles, our heartbreak -- it fundamentally changes us, humbles us, splits us wide open and makes us pure as gold. That's what inspired me to create these Frida pieces. I hope they inspire you, too. 

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