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Mueller Gallery

Mauricio Cortes Ortega: SCIN-TIL-LATE and Dionisio Cortes Ortega: Blurred Boundaries

Scin Til Late

Sept. 4 – Oct 8, 2019

Artist’s Talk: Wed. September 4, 5-6pm 
Opening Reception: Wed. Sept. 4, 6-8pm 

The Mueller Gallery is pleased to present two solo exhibitions for its first event of the 2019-20 season: Mauricio Cortes Ortega: Scin-til-late and Dionisio Cortes Ortega: Blurred Boundaries. There will be a reception for the artists on Wed. Sept. 4 from 6-8pm and an artist’s talk with both artists present from 5-6pm on the same day.

SCIN-TIL-LATE brings together recent work derived from research on historical crowns such as The Crown of the Andes, a 17th century votive crown made in Colombia. The crown, purportedly made from melted down Inca objects and stolen emeralds from the last Emperor was sold to a Chicago jeweler in the 20th century and subsequently paraded at fairs, car shows and fancy dinners, finally acquired by the MET in 2015. Mauricio’s work reimagines history and corrupted splendor, complex and historical objects imbued with untold stories, alternative interpretations emerge from disfigured symbols and the redaction of the decorative.

Blurred Boundaries is a photography and video installation that challenges the perceived differences between the United States and Mexico. The work consists of recent images taken in two sets of cities in the USA and Mexico: Chicago-Saltilllo and Brownsville-Matamoros. These visuals are juxtaposed and presented on custom-made stereoscopic devices with the intention of mixing and blurring the identity of each photograph. Still and moving imagery are paired by location and feature everyday scenes of life in places such as markets, schools, and parks among many others.

Public discourse on immigration has emphasized the differences on either side of the border, differences that were rooted at the dawn of colonization and have grown over time and with ongoing political agendas. Blurred Boundaries seeks to puzzle the viewer by showing indistinguishable images from either side of the divide. This exercise enables viewers to question how the assumed differences dissipate, exposing the porous nature of physical and metaphysical borders.


Mauricio Cortes Ortega

Mauricio Cortes Ortega

Mauricio Cortes Ortega is an artist and educator living and working in NY. His independent and collaborative projects reflect on histories of colonialism in the Americas that have reshaped everyday symbols, religious idols, and craft production. Mauricio is interested in making objects and images inspired by the dramatic history of colonial America. His paintings, drawings and sculptures depict shrouded objects like crowns, hoods, and other bodily adornments. In his paintings and drawings, he uses bingo markers and glitter pens to achieve shimmering and vibrant effects. He often employs line patterns, a visual connection to his hometown’s historical production of the Mexican Saltillo sarape: intricate textiles that trace colonial history through changes in design, material, and function in society. For his sculptures he glazes the ceramic pieces in a super high gloss black for a deep mirror finish—each sculpture stands as an individual object, but when brought together represent a growing still-life collection.

Dionisio Cortes Ortega

Dionisio Cortes Ortega

Dionisio Cortes Ortega holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from The Cooper Union in NYC. In addition to the numerous life drawing classes, Dionisio took film and photography in the art school all of which influenced both his artistic and professional practice. Recently, his work has been focused on tackling social and political issues including: the series of missing 43 Ayotzinapa students in Mexico; the upheavals along the border between Mexico and the United States; and the current state of the justice system in the United States. Dionisio has worked with number of different media, currently he is shooting photography and creating large scale sculptures. Dionisio is also a registered architect in the State of New York, and has a studio in the Bronx.