NEW YORK STORIES
by Jenness Cortez

“In this technological age the once-prized disciplines of seeing, drawing, and painting what’s been seen, can be too easily dismissed as antiquated crafts. I work these days in opposition to that notion and in support of realist art’s more subtle gifts.

Among teachers of these traditional arts an old adage is still common.  It’s simply this: We don’t really know a thing until we draw it; the subject’s never truly seen until its secrets have been discovered by our sustained and focused attention.

In my long career that rule has proven to be true. The artist finds unexpected gifts in such work and it’s my belief that these are gifts that can be transmitted to the sensitive viewer as well. In many ways attention and love are synonyms, and both are contagious. So the pleasures the artist found in the seeing and the making do reside in the finished work, waiting to affect their attentive audience.  No image wrought in pixels has the physical presence or power I’m referring to here. What’s created by physical eye and hand is received at both material and metaphysical levels, in a unique way.

That time-tested idea has been working in me as I prepare this themed show about New York City. Looking at the city from so many different angles has been a rewarding return to explorations made in student days.  Her great energy and promise called me from the Midwest to her teeming streets half a century ago, and her vitality has not lessened in the years since then. Some deep part of me will always be ready to respond to her with an open heart I and remain grateful for her inspiration.  

Eyes, hand, heart and mind have joined forces in seeing/drawing/painting these pieces. May they find and speak to the eyes, hearts and mind that can receive them with pleasure.”

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The Big Apple

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 16 by 12 inches

Homage to:  Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)
“View of the World from 9th Avenue” The New Yorker cover, March 29, 1976

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18 Broad Street

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 9 by 12 inches

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Dinner at Eight

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 15 by 15 inches

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Interlude

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 14 by 11 inches

Homage to: Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
“Late Afternoon, New York: Winter,” 1900, Brooklyn Museum

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Upper East Side

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 16 by 12 inches

Homage to: Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
“Allies Day, May 1917,”  National Gallery, Washington DC

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Dumbo

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 17 by 12 inches

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Five Umbrellas

 

by Jenness Cortez, ©2019
Acrylic on mahogany panel, 12 by 17 inches