José Pedro Cortes (Porto, Portugal, 1976) studied at Kent Institute of Art and Design (Master of Arts in Photography) in the UK. In 2005, after 3 years living in London, he moved back to Lisbon and was part of Gulbenkian Creativity and Artistic Creation Program in Photography. On that same year, Cortes had his first solo exhibitions at Centro Português de Fotografia and Silo Gallery, both in Porto, Portugal. In that year, Cortes was also selected for the Photo London - Emerging Artists Presentations and, in 2006, took part in the Getty Images curated exhibition New Photographers 2007.
Since then Cortes had several institutional solo exhibitions, namely 'One's Own Arena' at Museu da Eletricidade/MAAT, (Lisbon, 2015), 'Costa' at CGAC – Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (Santiago de Compostela, 2015) and in 2018 'A Necessary Realism, a major exhibition at MNAC, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, spanning 15 years of work.
Other exhibitions included Museu da Imagem (Braga, 2006), Módulo – Centro Difusor de Arte (Lisbon, 2008, 2010), White Space Gallery (London, 2006), CAV - Centro de Artes Visuais (Coimbra, 2013), Robert Morat Galerie (Berlin, 2015 and 2022) or Galeria Francisco Fino (Lisboa, 2018 and 2021) and Escola das Artes, UCP (Porto, 2021.
Cortes was also one of the photographers for EPEA - European Photo Exhibition Award 01, with work shown in four European venues in 2012 an 2013 (Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany, Centre Gulbenkian Paris, France, Fondazione Monte di Luca, Italy, and Oslo Peace Center, Norway); was also chosen for the project European Eyes on Japan 2014 (with book and exhibition); and O Processo SAAL: Arquitectura e Participação, 1974-1976, with work shown at Museu de Serralves, and at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Toronto. In 2014 Cortes participated in the event Live Editing Show at LE BAL, Paris, where visitors could produce a book in collaboration with the artist. In 2014, he was shortlisted for the BESPhoto award with exhibitions at Museu Berardo, Lisbon, and Instituto Tomie Ohtake, in São Paulo, Brazil. In 2016 was one of the commissioned artists for the BF16 - Bienal de Fotografia de Vila Franca de Xira with his installation Reinforced Concrete.
In 2018, the prestigious 1000 Words Magazine, selected José Pedro Cortes as one of the 10 photographers who have built significant bodies of work and emerged as increasingly influential practitioners, from 2008 to 2018.
From the beginning of his career, Cortes sees the book form as an important medium in presenting his work. His has published Silence (2005), Things Here and Things Still to Come (2011; included in 'Photobook: A History Vol.III'), Costa (2013) and One’s Own Arena (2015) and A Necessary Realism, published in 2018, an overview of his work, with essays by Shoair Mavlian, Julião Sarmento, David Santos and Nuno Crespo. All his books were published by Pierre von Kleist editions, a publishing house that he co-founded and directs from Lisbon, with more than 45 books published.
Apart from his artistic work, Cortes regularly collaborates with magazines like Numéro Homme, Apartmento or Fraulein Magazine.
His work is held in many public and private collections and is represented by Galeria Francisco Fino (Lisboa, Portugal) and Robert Morat Galerie (Berlin, Germany).