FEATURE ARTIST: Jose Luis Cortes
Today's feature artist on the John Hopper site (https://djohnhopper.blogspot.co.uk/) is Jose Luis Cortes. The text for the feature is given below, the full feature with imagery from Jose and his film work can be seen at the John hopper site.
There is no artist and no art without sensitivity, there is no artist or art without an understanding of what sensitivity is, and how it drives creativity. We are all in the game of living our lives the best way we can, and meandering through the aching holes and traumas that that life gifts us. How we reflect those lives as an artist, how we measure them, pick them apart, restore them - that is all done on an individual basis. There is no manual, no 12 part plan, no teaching studies - we are on our own, and we are blind.
The artist Jose Luis Cortes who has slid over time from visual fine artist to film artist, is an extraordinary individual. He is an individual who uses his life experiences as the raw material for expression, for the stories that are his life. We all use our lives to some degree, fuelling our artwork with episodes, messages, dreams from our unique journey through life.
But Jose is different. Jose is blunt and transparent about his life choices, his history, his weaving decisions, or decisions that were made for him and to him. The things that have made his life.
His work strips away the layers that we build over and about our lives, whether that be regarding projection of self though relationships, character, or sexuality. In sexuality in particular, Jose exposes the roughness and innate vulnerability of that sexuality.
One of the major themes of Jose's film work, and an integral part of his life journey, has been the tortured road between the darkness of drugs and unsafe sexual appetites. Jose himself sees much of his life as an unfolding Greek tragedy, a tragedy tinged with a sharp comedy.
Jose takes slices of his life, of his experiences of pain and joy, and frames them within the haunting sensitive, sensual tragedy that is his film work. Jose has been burnt by, but also revelled in his sexuality and the journey of that sexuality. There has been heartache and excitement, longing and lust, a darkness and an innocence, deep sensuality and the white light of honesty.
Jose has often used stark imagery in his film and performance work. He has often used himself as an expressionist canvas, his body being subservient to the power of the work. However, this stark expressionist style has always had to take place within a framework of understanding, of empathy, of sensitivity, and it is that innate understanding of what it is to be alive, what it is to be here and now, within and without relationships, hardships, ecstasy and bewildering pain, that makes this artist so special, vital, unmissable.
Particular highlights in Jose's film career so far have been the films: Raising a Fag; Long-Term Survivor; and the great Cash Master.
Cash Master in particular is a beautifully dark, haunting film. Watching it is like being immersed within a half dream world, a dark, mysterious, thick-as-treacle, sensual world, which at the same time is infinitely empathic, sympathetic and understanding, a portrayal of a tragi-sensual world of demands and desires.
Cash Master is a tour de force. Jose has grown quickly in stature and confidence as a filmmaker and as a film actor and contributor. He is set to be a big influence within the film world, and a great inspiration to generations of film makers to come.
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