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His paintings are exhibited in America, Europe and Asia

Transcending through art is not easy for Gabriel. The road has been hard, long and frustrating, but the present is joyful, hopeful and rewarding.

Gabriel Cortés Gutiérrez has a motor disability. Despite this, since he was a child, his family never kept him locked up, on the contrary, they helped him to socialize, he went out and played with his friends who treated him like any other person.

Diagnosed from birth with ‘arthrogryposis’, a group of muscle disorders that cause joint stiffness and abnormal muscle development, Gabriel was able to overcome this disability with the support of his family.

To date, he has managed to develop his talent and creativity in pictorial art, studies at the School of Plastic Arts of the Instituto de Cultura de Mazatlán, exhibits and sells his works in galleries in Mexico, the United States, Europe and Asia and is part of the National Association of Mouth and Foot Painters.

He has good memories of his childhood and of his adult life as well, since friends and family have never ceased to be present, to the extent that a friend’s recommendation was essential for him to venture into the world of painting and enroll in the School of Fine Arts of the Municipal Center of the Arts of the Instituto de Cultura, Turismo y Arte de Mazatlán.

Leaning in his wheelchair, he tours downtown Mazatlán and the boardwalk. On Tuesdays and Thursdays he arrives at the Municipal Arts Center where he has been studying painting for approximately five years, although he clarifies that he has been painting for about 18 years.

He enrolled in the CMA at the suggestion of some friends, who recommended that he study painting with maestro Miguel Flores. At the beginning, he did not imagine that his work would cross the borders of Mexico and he would be able to sell them on three continents.

Interviewed while moving his head so that the brush placed in his mouth gives the last strokes to his work, -a spirited horse that represents strength and the watery blue of the Mazatlan sea-, the talented fine artist responds that his passion for painting arose from ‘a crazy idea’ and also from the advice of a friend.

“He gave me a package of oil paint, a brush and a few canvases and one day I grabbed one and started (to paint) and from there I consider myself a painter.”

“The process (has been) very frustrating to the point of… I don’t know if you notice I have facial paralysis from stress caused by the paint, but everything is fine”, he comments nonchalantly.

Together with Beatriz Ramírez, his wife who has accompanied, admired and supported him for 14 years, Gabriel affirms that he can make a living from the arts.

“If people like painting, you can make a living from art. So far, now my work has reached Switzerland, Taiwan, I have an exhibition in Guadalajara and in Mexico City”.

Beatriz comments that Gabriel exhibited the painting of a Virgin of Guadalupe in the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe and is currently participating in an exhibition in Toluca, State of Mexico; in Guadalajara, in Taiwan and in Los Angeles, California.

Which is more beautiful, that his work reaches Switzerland or the Basilica before the Virgin? Well, there are so many places where my painting has arrived that I even forget (but) as far as it can go is the reward.

Gabriel invests 15 to 20 minutes to travel from his house to school. The electric chair has been a great support for not depending on people, although he admits that not everyone has this resource to move.

“I was on that path of not doing anything and not having to move but my family, thank God, has known how to improve, although when I was little I had no capacity to have, let’s say, that luxury, because it is a luxury to have an electric chair” .

Finally, Gabriel measures the value of promoting the arts and invites people with disabilities to attend the CMA, not to give up, to try to make the most of it as much as they can, because the world of fine arts is rewarding, therapeutic. “It’s a way to distract yourself and not be locked up at home.”

Éste artículo fue publicado en Artistic Education Press, Press, School of plastic arts press. .

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