When in South Florida, look for artist Jake Cordero’s vibrant paintings that convey his passion for cultures, nature and animals.
SB: Tell us about yourself and what prompted your creativity and art.
JC: I grew up around the Davie Boulevard area in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I believe my early exposure to the arts really sparked my creativity and my view of the world. I started art and music when I was 6 years old in a Broward magnet school. These magnet programs put different mediums in my hands and I haven’t stopped since.
SB: When did the marine world become part of your work? What was the attraction?
JC: During my academic studies I had to work on the many “-isms” of art history, but being a native Floridian, the ocean was my backyard. I’ve always had something nature-driven in my personal sketches and paintings. Over the past few years, the unique, colorful, cultural style within my marine themes has had an amazing response and continuous demand and well received by my fellow Floridians as well as abroad.
SB: What was the boating industry like when you started compared to how it is now?
JC: I feel the boating industry has exploded and keeps breaking new barriers. Every boat show I attend, I’m amazed at how many diverse vendors attend and how the quality and innovation continues to increase.
SB: What is your main objective when you are creating a work of art?
JC: My main objective is to “say something.” Similar to the ocean, I like to dig slightly deeper than just a pretty picture. For my marine subject matter, the vibrant colors I use are as close to mimicking these beautiful creatures flourishing in their natural environment. I’m a guest in their world, and they don’t feel threatened by my presence. It’s pretty amazing when I get a close-up and the light rays hit their scales… Mother Nature is pretty incredible.
SB: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
JC: The challenges of innovation and creativity. I am constantly growing artistically and feeding off my surroundings. I get to test my creativity and hone new skills and the aesthetics of different mediums. The joy of getting better and better at my craft and creating a small window into my visions and artistic story is what it’s all about. Art makes people feel something. Whether they connect or disconnect, there’s still some type of reaction received.
SB: Tell us about one or two of your favorite pieces.
JC: “Miami Sailfish” is a new release, which has yet to be seen by the public. I took a 25-year-old 7-foot sailfish taxidermy and completely refurbished it and gave it a new voice. This is by far the most unique taxidermy in the world. This was such a fun piece to bring to life.
“Octopus Element” began with reclaimed wood and making it truly unique. The wood was acquired from an old Florida Keys’ shack that was being renovated. I used several mediums, such as aerosol, acrylics and oils and wanted to interpret the strange but gorgeous underwater body gliding through our reefs.
SB: What are some projects you have coming up? Anything exciting you’d like to share?
JC: I’m always sketching and designing innovative imagery using various mediums. The end result of what I do is always painting. I paint carved wood, taxidermy, murals, surfboards, Converse Chuck Taylors… I’m really excited about two of my nature pieces being part of a new film. I received a call from NBC Universal Studios requesting to use two of my pieces in a scene for the Ice Cube and Kevin Hart sequel Ride Along: 2. I’m stoked to see how they used them in their scenes. It’s a great honor.
My works are always full of energy and passion. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by a vibrant and colorful environment, which is clearly rendered in my works. You can see there’s an aboriginal-tribal pattern incorporated in each piece. This is majorly influenced by my love of all cultures, especially many of the primitive pioneers. Being a first generation American from Cuban-Russian parents, diversity has always been around me and I embrace it. Many native cultures create statues and artwork rendering their native animals (i.e. wolf, coyote, orca, bear, etc.) I’m from South Florida, so those animals are not really indigenous to my environment. I began designing the nature I see in my environment and it’s all been history since. jacobcordero.com
By Nathalie Gouillou, Southern Exposure, April 2016