Carmina Cortes

Carmina Cortes was born and raised in southern California. At a young age, she suffered a fall and herniated three discs in the lower lumbar area, which lead to a series of operations and treatments. Since the age of nineteen has suffered from chronic back pain. In 2002, she suffered an irreversible injury that left her with two herniated discs in the cervical area. As a result of this injury, she suffered depression and sadness due to her physical state. This same sadness brought forward the artist who is now recognized in the Los Angeles area. Her depression led to an abundance of paintings expressing hope. During her struggle with depression also came her struggle with "the bulge." This is where the trees in the shapes of voluptuous women came to life with the colored pencils. She continued on this theme bringing her identity search to life as the colored pencils turned to acrylics.

In furthering her identity search and expanding her artistic repertoire she was led in 2003 to go to the land of her roots, Tepatitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. There she began taking photographs that were apart of her search for the missing pieces of her life. She decided to work mostly in black and white to show the stark reality of the search, to emphasize the details and to focus, for herself, on the people, places and things that were important markers of her life and the life of her family.

She has studied at the Art Instructional School and at Santa Monica Community College. This past year, Carmina displayed her artwork in such galleries as the Mary Paxton in Norwalk and Espresso Mi Cultura Cafe on Hollywood Blvd. This year she had an exhibit at Tia Chucha's Café Cultural. And so she continues growing as a artist and a person as she seeks to understand all the pieces of her identity.