Artist Spotlight


Name: Xavier Cortada

City: Miami

Birthplace: Albany, New York

Artistic Medium: I don’t think the medium is as important as the voice.  In expressing voice, I’ve experimented with a variety of traditional media, such as oils, acrylics, glass mosaic, charcoal and pencil. I have also used more unusual materials, including an airplane, found objects, refrigerators, expressways and bridges, uneaten food and mangrove seedlings.

How did you get started?
My dad and uncle are artists.  I grew up in a studio surrounded by paint and easels.  As a kid, I’d go with Dad to the now extinct Grove House, their gallery on Coral Way and the art shows at Vizcaya and the Coconut Grove Art Festival.
I doodled my way through college and law school, and after a short stint as a professor found my way back to world of art.

Who or what are your influences?
Picasso, Beuys and Bacon.

What inspires your work?
Injustice, ambiguity, destruction, resilience.

How does Miami/South Florida influence your work?
I am completely informed by Miami. It’s the only place I’ve ever called home.

How would you describe your work? 
In my work, I explore voice and transformation.

What has been the most unusual reaction to your work from the public? 
Some folks thought the Miami Mangrove Forest seedlings painted on the columns holding up I-95 were salamanders.  One even told me they thought they were aliens.

What would you like to achieve as an artist? 
I use art as a vehicle to explore my world and connect to others.

Where is your work available?
Currently, my work is on exhibit at the World Arts Building, 2214 N. Miami Avenue, in the “PLURAL Miami” group show curated by Antonio Zaya.

Publicly exhibited paintings hang at the entrance of Miami City Hall, the foyer of the Miami-Dade County Commission Chambers and the Miami Children’s Museum.

External pieces hang on the facade of the Juvenile Courthouse, Niketown, and Parrot Jungle Island.

My work is always available on-line at

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