Sebastian Cortés was born in New York and took up photography while at New York University film school where he studied and collaborated with many of the best names in the industry, shooting several short films. In 1985 moved to Milan, Italy and started shooting fashion, travel and lifestyle photography assignments for many international magazines and commercial clients, including, among others: American Express, Condè Nast, Ermenegildo Zegna and Publicis.
From the beginning, Sebastian’s career included a commitment to fine art photography, developing a very personal analysis of the use of the camera as an instrument for recording “ the layering of time and the sense of place”- influenced by the American school: Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston and contemporaries like Robert Polidori and Alec Soth.
In 1996 Cortés produced, “Luoghi Poetici” Poetic Places, intimate, atmospheric portraits of the major Italian poets in their homes, the key to discovering each poet is “the place” in both a literary and metaphorical sense – the space in which the poet recognises himself. The book and the exhibition drew great critical acclaim and travelled to major Italian cities.
In 2004 Cortés moved together with his family to India, where his award winning travel, lifestyle and fine art photography is greatly appreciated. Garnering applause from noted artists, intellectuals and press, Cortés developed several book projects, the most recent Pondicherry, published by Roli Books, further extended his very personal discourse with photography, initiating a productive period of fieldwork within a new cultural context. Cortés lectures at the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication. His images are exhibited and reviewed widely in Europe and in India