by way of self-portrait

Teresa Cortez

If I were asked to select one single underlying and de­fining word for my artistic itinerary of more than four decades I would definitely choose Emotiveness.

Emotiveness as a synonymous of the restlessness of mind that I experience when, in my imagination, the basic ideas of what will constitute the essential content of my work are already sprouting, even if I cannot yet envision the details of their contours, let alone form a structured and global view of them as a whole.

This emotiveness is felt when, working on an artis­tic project and before transitioning to the execution phase, in the assessment I carry out between holding on to the initial ideas as crude as they come straight from my imagination and the subsequent and more serene analysis in which I ponder its aesthetic maxi­misation, I often feel – inwardly displeased – forced to admit that the “claims” derived from emotion have to give way to the cool voice of reason.

This emotiveness is also displayed at the level of my tactile sensitiveness, my pleasure in handling the clay, a pleasure that has accompanied me ever since child­hood and which I believe must be common to many children and adults who also enjoy it.

While I don’t identify myself exclusively with any line of thought or specific artistic school, to some degree I recognise myself in L. Tolstoy’s statement that “a work of art can only be considered as such if it con­veys the artist’s feelings and emotions”.

When engrossed in intimate self-analysis – as is surely the case with many other artists – I often link the crea­tive source of my emotiveness with a deep-rootedness in affective bonds, dreams, family life and childhood friendships, a set of circumstances that have left a strong mark in me.

In fact, regardless of their size, theme and material employed, in all my works, the selection of human figures, animals, plants, colours, themes, stories and even sketched self-portraits is usually connected to an affective element that is soon made clear to me through details not so discernible by others, but which constitute key-points of its execution, due to the per­sonal meaning they carry.

Emotiveness, therefore, along with a strong affective engagement very familiar to those who have been fol­lowing my work closely, and who, during the creative stage of a work, commenting on one or other of my options, often have been known to hear my reply that “I prefer it like this because it reminds me of…”

© 2020 - 2021, Teresa Cortez