The works in Cortés’s exhibition mark his second series that explores a specific location in India. (The first was “Pondicherry.”). In “Sidphur” he finds an intensity in color and detail that is unique to this legendary town, which has experienced periods of flourishment and downfall throughout history. In its architecture, Sidhpur shows the aesthetic influence of its luxurious past. But the artist also found that its residents, while interacting with its extravagant spaces, were often disconnected from its history.
“The inhabitants...seem to have a rather distant relationship with the homes and the content,” he recalls. “Efforts to share glimpses of their rich heritage were limited.” Exterior shots of the town, such as Street of Islampura (2012), show a richly ornamental style in Sidhpur’s historical architecture that retains echoes of its past glory. But once the viewer is allowed behind closed doors, the simple, daily life of the inhabitants of Sidhpur comes to the forefront, in which they use these previously treasured spaces in realistically utilitarian ways.