By depicting artworks in her compositions, Cortez underscores a classic paradox of painting: the painting as a "window" into an imagined space, and as a physical object; both a metaphysical presence and a material entity. Her compositions entreat the viewer's eye to move through these paintings again and again, examining every nuance. Cortez chooses to utilize her talent for realism to illuminate the ordinary. As in the works of O'Keeffe or Estes, everyday objects become dazzling and luminous when reconsidered through her art. Far from being mere exercises in photorealism or replication, each Cortez work touches upon questions about the nature of painting itself and the significance of art objects. Her work inspires viewers to rediscover, revalue and reintegrate their own creative force into the hurried regimen of modern life.
Cortez's work is in numerous public and private collections including those of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, HRH Queen Elizabeth, II, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Alexander, Mr. Edgar Bronfman, Ms. Virginia Kraft Payson, Ambassador True Davis, Mr. Henry Kravis, Mr. Ogden Mills Phipps, Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Congressman Gerald Solomon, Gov. George Pataki, Gov. Hugh Carey, Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz and Mr. Jerry Weintraub. Public and corporate collectors include the New York State Museum, Fluor Corporation, Saratoga Harness, Inc., Skidmore College and SUNY Empire State College.
Waterford Museum, Waterford, NY; NY Historical Society, New York, NY; Waterford Museum, Waterford, NY; Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, NY; Albany Institute of History and Art; Burroughs Chapin Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC; New York State Museum Albany, NY