David Cottes

David Cottes


Born to Puerto Rican immigrants, Cottes was an active member of the Puerto Rican Art Movement in East Harlem and worked at the Center for Puerto Rican Cultural Relations. Known to paint scenes of figures in crowded subways, Cottes’ The Ride depicts abstracted, androgynous figures in earth tones grouped together with fists upraised. The upraised fists act as representations of people holding onto subway rails while simultaneously referencing the raised fist as a symbol of power and solidarity. Cottes did not prefer to adhere to one type of style according to a quote from 1981:

“Art is a part of life, and life just goes on…when painters get too personal they reach a cul de sac – they can’t go further, and what happens is repetition.”  

The Ride
The Ride by David Cottes


Title: The Ride
Artist: David Cottes
Date: 1970
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:  40 x 40 inches
Accession Number: H07.04









Untitled (Pigeons)
Untitled (Pigeons) by David Cottes


Title: Untitled (Pigeons)
Artist: David Cottes
Date: n.d.
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Image size: 18 x 24 inches; 24 ¼ x 30 ½ inches
Accession Number: H07.05









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