Gladys Poorte’s work centers on the broader themes of authority, submission, and exploitation. Primarily a still life painter, Poorte arranges everyday objects and renders them in surreal narratives. For Serie XVI, she created Punishment for 16 Sins, where the main protagonist, a metal object in the shape of a gasket, is being tortured and pulled apart, while other objects observe the punishment from the sidelines. Working with rich ochres, she renders a seductive, yet menacing mood by developing light, space, and depth in the print. She cites ancient Chinese painting, Hieronymus Bosch, and surrealist painting as primary influences.
A native of Cordoba, Argentina, Poorte moved to the U.S. in 1985. She discovered art later in her life. Her first career was as an educator. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in Adult Education. After teaching in community colleges, she began taking art classes. When her family relocated to Austin, she enrolled in the art studio program and earned her BFA at the University of Texas at Austin. She frequently exhibits her work and is represented by Dberman Gallery in Austin.