This article is part of a recurring Crybaby Zine feature in which Crybaby spotlights a young artist worth keeping an eye on. For their Fame Issue, Crybaby highlighted the work of 17-year-old artist Siri Cortez and asked her to speak for herself.
I’m seventeen and I’m unsure of myself. All of this is apparent in my art. I stopped making art when I was about 11 because I didn’t have the desire or—frankly—the time to do it anymore, and I lost my only creative outlet. During my senior year of high school, however, I enrolled myself in an AP studio art class in which I ended up being the only student. The first piece I did in that class was a self-portrait, which was the beginning of many introspective works. I have been called a narcissist many times and even identified as one because of my intense self-interest, but as a teenager I don’t think that’s something even remotely unique. I think I—along with a few others like me—have just chosen to fully acknowledge it.
My original concept with the self-portraits was to portray how I saw myself: as a saint. However, after the 4th one, I switched gears slightly. I found that if I was going to be painting self-portraits that portrayed me in such a high regard, the only tasteful thing to do was satirize them.
And so I did. The following pieces were to become obvious “jokes”: in one piece, I mimicked the recurring “Madonna and child” thing, but I replaced the holy child with my dog. The joke turned into more of one with myself, as likening myself to a saint is really just the pinnacle of irony in that I lack a moral compass. I’m done with making myself a saint in art. My name is Siri, and I just want to create.
Adolescent is psyched to be able to bring this and other articles from the pages of Crybaby Zine to our readers. This piece was originally written for their Fame Issue—if you like it, check out their store to buy this or other issues!