"Xavier Cortada created a series of extensive installations on his Antarctic visit, focusing on the crucial element of time. The Florida native cast an ice replica of a Mangrove seedling that is very slowly making its way over 150,000 years to the coastline. In contrast, he marked the mere 50-year history of human presence at the South Pole with chronological flags stretching across the frozen land."
Lucy R. Lippard
Weather Report exhibition catalog,
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007.
(click here to read resume)
Cortada created art at the Earth Poles to generate environmental awareness at every point in between: In 2007, the artist
used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark
time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. In 2008, Cortada planted a green flag
at North Pole
to encourage reforestation in the world below.
Cortada often collaborates with scientists in his art-making: Cortada used samples (and inspiration) provided by researchers in Antarctica to create his National Science Foundation-sponsored works there. He has also worked with a population geneticist on a project exploring our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000 years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize an actual DNA strand made from a sequence randomly generated by participants visiting his museum exhibit, and with botanists in eco-art projects to reforest mangroves, native trees and wildflowers. At CERN, Cortada worked with a physicist to develop a site-specific art installation and performance piece capturing the five search strategies which the CMS experiment has used to discover a new Higgs-like particle.
The Miami artist has worked with groups globally to produce numerous collaborative art projects, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, child welfare murals in Bolivia and Panama, AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa, and eco-art projects in Taiwan, Hawaii, Holland and Latvia.
has also been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme
the Florida Governor's Mansion, Florida Botanical Gardens, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County
Hall, the Miami
the Miami Science Museum, Museum of Florida History, and the Frost Art Museum.
such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned his
art. Publishers like McDougal and Random House have featured it in
school textbooks and publications. His work has also been featured in National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel.
Cortada, who was born in Albany, New York and
grew up in Miami, holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and
Sciences, Graduate School of Business and School of Law.
Cortada serves as Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University's (FIU) College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA).