Xavier Cortada’s art-science practice is oriented toward social engagement and the environment. He has created art installations at the earth’s poles to generate awareness of global climate change: In 2007, while a fellow of the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist and Writer’s Program, he created a site-specific installation at the South Pole that uses its moving ice sheet an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years. In 2008, he planted a green flag at the North Pole to reclaim it for nature and launch an urban reforestation initiative.
Cortada often collaborates with scientists in his art-making:
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.
Cortada has also been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Governor’s Mansion, Florida Botanical Gardens, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, the Miami Art Museum, the Miami Science Museum, Museum of Florida History, and the Frost Art Museum.
Corporations 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 served as Artist-in-Residence at Florida International University‘s (FIU) College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) from 2011 throiugh 2015.