Ricardo Cortez embodies San Jose’s culture at its core, combing his love of art and the lowrider community. He earned his master of fine arts in digital art at San Jose State University. Cortez developed his graphic design and fine art practice within the intersection of technology, sculpture, and culture. It reimagines his Chicanismo, suggesting a new approach in studying our active relationships with technology and longing for nostalgia. He continues to exhibit, teach, and produce culturally significant work that encourages interaction, inviting the audience to become an integral part of the art. By day, Cortez works as a marketing director at the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship of Santa Clara University. He is actively cataloging a digital archive of rare lowrider print material and remains dedicated to his pursuit of service to the community.
“I pride myself as a creator and an aficionado of the obsolete – using personal experience and cultural identity as a framework for my artistic expression.”
During Cortez’s term as Creative Ambassador, he will produce a series of workshops for youth that will culminate in a community art exhibition. The project, and Cortez himself, is infused with inspiration from San Jose. “My creative expression project revolves around mixing lowriders, art, and technology to show the San Jose youth how we can create new media art.” In the workshops, participants will produce one-of-a-kind sound-reactive artworks. “What inspires me is knowing that I live in a city that was the foundation of innovation that spread across the country. From computers to the San Jose lowriders that reimagined paint jobs and hydraulics, San Jose has been the epicenter of so many things.”
This article originally appeared in Issue 14.4 “Profiles”