Reality is a Constant Becoming
Luis Cortés, a sculptor from Zaragoza who lives in Barcelona, has spent years investigating movement through his articulated sculptures, a series made up mostly of small minimalist sculptures with pure shapes, representing different animals, such as the horse, the elephant, or the whale. However, he has also studied the human figure and the hand. In Luis Cortés’ sculptures, you can observe a part of scientific research, and the artist investigates movement carefully. Each of his sculptures is made with a different number of wooden pieces, all of them with geometric shapes. These pieces are linked together through pivot points, thus allowing movement.
In Barcelona, Spain, the presence of exceptional creativity and imagination is around every corner, where artists like Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, and Dali once resided. I was lucky enough to visit Luis Cortes’ art studio, where I wandered around like a child in a Toyland. I was fascinated by his geometrical jigsaw puzzles that turn into motion sculptures.
Animals, plants and ultimately all living beings are important examples of morphological changes, their displacement, and relationships with other beings, based on their intentions, instinct, and intelligence.
– Luis Cortez
Luis Cortes went to school at Facultat de Belles Arts, Universitat de Barcelona (The Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona) and was initially trained as a filmmaker. Throughout his career, he has made a living as a special effects maker for motion pictures and commercials. Eventually, the evolution of sculptures made with kinetic chains captured his mind. He devoted his focus to it as he became a full-time artist. Over the last ten years, he has applied polygons’ continuous lines and rigid elements to create various figures through endless detailed calculations of multiple pivot points. He makes his geometric shapes with virtual mobility, and each sculpture can be resized to any proportion of artwork to display as required for the location.
I observed him measure his geometrical shapes on paper in his studio. Then he cut them into woodblocks with a few delicate machines. Afterward, he would connect each piece of the woodblocks with moveable screws, and suddenly, they became recognizable animals or figures. He then took multiple pictures of each moveable pose and downloaded them into a computer to transfer them to motion pictures. His vast studio designates each room for creation to come alive. In his computer room, he becomes a movie director, a special effects motion picture producer, and a magician to let his creation run fast and faster. With years of commercial film experience, he finally turns imagination into reality. I watched a 2D artwork become a 3D sculpture, and the 3D sculpture becomes a motion picture. Mesmerizing it was.
For Luis, life is fragments of pieces; broken pieces could be remade into shapes of life. In art-making, the artist breathes his life into segments and transmits them into forces. The shape itself is movement design, and energy allows mass with its capacity to transform and put into motion. When we met, we spoke in different languages, and he eagerly tried to express his philosophy of life by the Google Translator on his cell phone. I understood well the whole matter of life is motion, in a continuous change, inseparable from time. I don’t think language difference matters anymore, and visual understanding has bonded us together. We bend, mold, and fit into survival for our own time. New technology comes and goes, and we become pieces of an unknown future.
For me, Cortes’ kinetic art is the statement of our time. With the internet now, you can watch “ Luis Cortés Esculturas Articuladas” on Youtube without going to Spain.
To learn more about Cortés and his work, please visit EstonoesArte.com/Luis-Cortes.