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Federico Cortese
  • 50, Male
  • Turin
  • Italy
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Federico Cortese posted a photo

A journey to Italy, Abbiategrasso

An original piece from the series “Code”, oil on paper, 35 x 35 cm.The European travelers who made the grand tour in Italy in the nineteenth century, brought back home, in their drawings and memories, a romantic, bucolic, partly false image of the…
Oct 5
Federico Cortese posted a photo

Rorschach number 2

An original piece from the series “Rorschach”, oil on thick paper, 65 x 50 cm.The Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach, invented the famous inkblots, to put into practice a therapeutic form in which a patient, observing these apparently indefinite…
Sep 2
Federico Cortese posted a photo

Rorschach number 1

An original piece from the series “Rorschach”, oil on thick paper, 65 x 50 cm.The Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach, invented the famous inkblots, to put into practice a therapeutic form in which a patient, observing these apparently indefinite…
Jul 6
Federico Cortese posted a photo

Abandoned room with the Mole Antonelliana

From the series "Abandoned rooms", oil on canvas. 40 x 70 cm, 2018. Original sold,This series of paintings was inspired by the metaphysical landscapes of De Chirico. I have always been fascinated by their clear vision of the architecture, with the…
May 3
Federico Cortese posted a photo

The first voyage of Christopher Columbus, 1492

An original piece from the series “Deformations”, oil on thick paper, 56 x 40 cm.I often paint imaginary maps. I like to play with the codes of representation and the symbols that are usually used in the cartography and in the representation of the…
Apr 18
Federico Cortese posted a photo

The deportation of the African slaves, 1500 - 1900

An original piece from the series “Deformations”, oil on thick paper, 56 x 40 cm, 2017. Original sold.I often paint imaginary maps. I like to play with the codes of representation and the symbols that are usually used in the cartography and in the…
Mar 13
Federico Cortese posted a photo

The hop moth

Pins and oil on thick paper, 44 x 35 cm, 2017. Original sold.
Feb 23
Federico Cortese posted photos
Jan 22

Profile Information

Relationship status
College / University
Architecture - Politecnico di Torino
Program / Degree
bachelore in architecture
Member type
If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
Drawing, Painting
I am...
I was born in 1971 in Turin, where I live and work as an artist and as an architect. Since I can remember I have always drawn. My preferred techniques are classic oils on canvas paintings, and pencil drawings.
About my artwork
I’m like a mouse in its box. A little mouse safe in its shelter, that passes his time gnawing the food stored for the winter. But my food are the drawings. I work within my home. My studio is a room of the house in which I live. In this relatively small space are accumulated all the materials and equipment I need to draw and paint, but in a certain sense also the suggestions that inspire my work. Here are the desks and drawing boards, with brushes and paint colors, but also, on the walls or placed in closets, paintings and drawings (I think each finished work is always an inspiration for the next, in somehow). A great source of ideas are books and music, and of course the PC. The graphics programs and virtual modeling programs have become over the years a valuable support, but obviously the richest mine is the internet: a reservoir of images and ideas from which to draw, and in which we often are lost (in addition to photos of my own travels, all stored on the computer). It 'a small microcosm closed in on itself, rather impervious to the outside world (despite a large window with a beautiful view of Turin, almost always I work with the curtains closed). It is a bit as if the suggestions of the real world were allowed to enter here only after being filtered and digested, only after it has been already turned into experience. Exactly like a rat, eating quiet its supplies in its den, waiting for the end of winter.

In my artistic research I've always been attracted to all that is sortable, classifiable. Perhaps this attitude stems from a primordial insecurity, and perhaps the illusion of putting order into chaos eases this concern.
To start this game is sufficient to identify a subject that lends itself to variations, and the game consists precisely in identifying the rules that form the basis of possible changes. It 'a little like discovering a new language and trying to decipher the syntax, grammar, exceptions.
With these assumptions, it is easy to see that the subjects of this research can be the most different and in fact my designs ranging from butterfly collections to herbaria, from ancient bestiaries to manuals of anatomy, maps, human faces, hands, pornography, flags ... They are all languages having their own vocabulary, and my attempt is to isolate it and reinvent it, trying to generate new meanings.
Consider for example a road map or a map. They are born with a practical, precise purpose. Some graphic conventions, signs, symbols are chosen to represent on paper all the information that the map must contain. This at the end generates an aesthetics. What happens if I isolate this technique of representation from the purpose for which it was created and alter the rules that govern it? Does it continue to convey meaning? This meaning will be new and unexpected? Or for the reader this will be meaningless, as an unknown language?
My favorite painting techniques are oil paint on paper or canvas and graphite drawing. In general the work proceeds by sedimentation of successive layers, each layer adds something new, but at the same time covers something of the underlying layer.

I have sold my works on the net, as original unique handmade artworks (saatchiart.com, zatista.com, artfinder.com) or as posters and reproductions on other products such as T-shirts (redbubble.com, teepublic.com, cupick.com), dresses (artonfashion.com), pillows and bags (society6.com).
I safely package my sold works by myself. They are never rolled but always packed flat. My artworks are put between two sheets of acid free paper with paper protection for the corners, than closed in a plastic envelope. The envelope is stiffen with a sheet of polystyrene, and the whole thing is completed with several layers of cardboard on both sides. In case of canvases the package is also protected with bubble packaging.
Artists I like
Carol Rama, felice casorati, Alberto Burri, Carla Accardi, Francis Bacon, lucien freud
Paintings, Drawings, Architecture, Literature, Lenguages, sex
Centre of the artworld:

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Comment Wall (19 comments)

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At 1:00 on August 30, 2017, Charles Dunbar said…

Thanks for the invitation.  May your work continue to flower.  Chucki

At 4:36 on March 7, 2009, koustav said…
thanks for comments . I c your work . i really like this work . your work is very sensitive .
At 9:03 on October 15, 2008, Peter Gric said…
Thank you Federico!!
At 19:57 on October 14, 2008, Hanna Watts said…
you're very welcome Federico, its really a pleasure to watch your sensitive style. hope to see more of it!
and thank you for the kind words!!!
At 20:03 on October 10, 2008, Carolyn Krieg said…
Hey, i like your work alot. Thanks.
At 14:11 on October 10, 2008, Allan A. Philiba said…
Ciao Frederico,
I'm proud to be included as one of your friends
At 12:28 on September 22, 2008, Raphael Venturi said…
Ciao Federico! Grazie mile per invitarmi.
Che belissimi i tuoi lavori! Sia qui come in Picasa, l'imagini sono affascinanti. Abracci.
At 20:08 on September 20, 2008, Hanna Watts said…
Hello Federico
thank you for adding me.
At 16:39 on September 20, 2008, Caroline Krieger Comings said…
Terrific imagination.
At 16:30 on September 20, 2008, mira cedar said…
happy to be your friend. fantastic work! thanx

Federico Cortese's Blog


An original piece from the series “Blender”, oil and pencil on paper, 54 x 42 cm, 2015.

This series of paintings was inspired by the programs for virtual modeling that are used in architecture. With these programs you can create extremely complex and…


Posted on August 13, 2021 at 12:58

United States of America

From the series “Flag”; oil and graphite pencil on canvas; 50 x 75 cm, 2014.

Every time that I come back home from a journey or a holiday, I always find some flags among the photographs…


Posted on May 14, 2021 at 15:31

Shell number 15

An original piece from the series “Shells”. pencil, ink, tea and coffee, oil on paper. 64 x 64 cm, 2006.

I use big sheets of paper stained with very liquid paint to imagine the dry soil of an archaeological dig, from which emerges a discovery similar to a fossil, a…


Posted on May 21, 2020 at 11:31

Sentence number 14

An original piece from the series “Alphabet”, china ink on paper. 20 x 20 cm, 2001.

A barcode is the graphical representation of a series of numbers. What creates the aesthetics of a barcode? It comes from lines, their thickness, the spacing. We can think of it as a…


Posted on March 14, 2020 at 9:08


CAMPARI. Oil and pencil on paper; 30 x 21 cm, 1997.

My father, when young, was fond of photography. He loved to develop the images on his own. A rudimentary darkroom was set up in a closet, where he experienced the effects of developing baths on the portraits…


Posted on May 12, 2019 at 8:30



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