José Cori's imagination wields a fantastical repertoire of colourful artworks, filled with distinctive imagery that emanates from the myriad lines rendered into free-flowing scenes where colour takes precedence and nods to art history materialize into the artist’s unique style. His overly saturated compositions reveal themselves without concrete outlines or an initial compositional plan, but through improvised silhouettes that often reference the tonalities of his Latin American heritage. Cori’s pictorial path oscillates between abstraction and figuration, which brings forth elements of his memories, nature, characters, and places. His figures come in silhouettes with uncertain faces where everything is a pretext for interplaying patterns and colorful associations, that echo the Latin tones of his childhood in Chile.
Both his drawings and ceramics are the result of an inherently time-based practice, which reveals the workings of the artist’s ingenuity. All these coloured imaginaries come from a single line that leads to the wielding of vibrant tones and shades into voluminous figurations and deep semi-abstract patterns, through the exclusive use of colored pencils. Jose emphasises that the image should be made “only through color, line, and contrast.” Which becomes evident as soon as the viewer gets close enough to the picture. The artist frees himself from the illusion of volume and is instead interested in the pictorial surface, on which he expresses emotions of moving simplicity. Some of the works prefigure ideas from the artist’s mind, while others aim to render homage to art historical figures.
Cori's hues and blank delineations offer references to the quotidian with a beautiful simplicity that speaks of a unique imagination and understanding of the art canon. Although rather than solely copying or imitating, the artist mingles ideas and styles, whereby the viewer can grasp numerous allusions, from Brancusi’s sculptural qualities to the lonely perspective of a Hopper contemplation. His semi-abstract motifs are infused with a colourful vibrancy, which has undeniably become the artist's muse; revealed in a graphic work that elevates the ingenuity of drawing.
"In my drawings, I am concerned with the kind of abstraction defined by the ideal of color purity, which is why I use solid colours. With figuration, there are more nuances"