Jorge Cocco Santangelo is an Argentinian painter who also works in sculpture, lithograph, etching, ceramics, and washi zokey (art with handmade paper). He has worked in a number of styles during his career with a particular strength for contemporary artwork. His work has been acquired and exhibited at museums in Argentina, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has lived and worked in both Spain and Mexico. He maintains studios in both the United States and Argentina. He’s also now on Instagram @sacrocubism. He was profiled previously on The Krakens for his religious artwork.
You are well-known for your religious art. Talk about your non-religious art. In my case, I cannot fully separate modern or contemporary art from religious art. In religious art, the elements purely artistic such as rhythm, composition, color, etc., are unavoidable, but obviously they are there to facilitate the interpretation of the scene depicted. As for my own style, I use those same elements to try to reach for the metaphysics; I try to move the observer into the realm of the transcendent, the spiritual, and its connection with the subconscious. Other series of works that I have created are more symbolic, bringing to mind sacred places with enigmatic constructions for worship. Even in my abstract paintings I include signs seemingly esoteric, marks utilized by ancient cultures during their rituals. In a subtle way I am trying to tell the viewer that there are truths out there to be unveiled, hidden in plain sight.
What’s next for your career? Currently I am working on a commission by the Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City, UT. It is series of paintings about the ministry of Christ. The unusual about this project is that I am depicting the already known scenes in Christian art with a new interpretation, from the perspective offered by modern art schools such as cubism and constructivism. On the other hand, I continue experimenting with materials and techniques such as handmade paper, etching, collages, and what I call “sculpto-painting”, a combination of sculpture and painting, to name a few. One of my permanent purposes is to teach and make art accessible, as a means to refine the human spirit and expose more people to the art world.
Special thanks to Jorge’s art manager, Amiel Cocco-Verbauwen, for the translation.