Amor Eterno: Eternal Love for Art, Tattoos and Oakland


Amy “Corazón” George-Cortez, art curator, along with husband and tattoo artist, Salvador “El Chamuco” Cortez have co-owned Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in the Fruitvale District for approximately two and a half years. This Saturday, June 8, 2013 the couple celebrated the unveiling of their new and larger space and art gallery. The name Amor Eterno translates to Eternal Love from Spanish. On the invite that was put out through the Amor Eterno blog and Facebook event page, the Cortez’s explain that the name was chosen based on the love that the couple share for each other, their love for art and tattoos, for their family “and the community of Oakland.”

Cortez has been tattooing around the Bay Area for 10 years now. His wife has been curating for roughly the same amount of time. One of the goals of Amor Eterno according to Cortez is “to make art accessible to everyone, especially the community.” He also hopes that they “keep people inspired and keep people understanding the power that is art.” Now that the shop has expanded George-Cortez expects to use the shop for “everything,” including performing arts.

The Downtown area of the City of Oakland has recently been recognized as being one of America’s Top Twelve ArtPlaces 2013, according to Artplace. Cortez says, “Oakland has always been an art place, it just never got the due credit because of the bad reputation.” The galleries that are curated by George-Cortez at their shop feature the work of local artist.

The Fruitvale District has recently made the news for high crime rates including robberies and prostitution, however, Amor Eterno is not alone in its effort to bring more art to the community. Oscar Cisneros, artist and owner of Tu Tienda Azteca, which re-opened in the Fruitvale District a week ago, attended Amor Eterno’s unveiling. Cisneros recently noticed another gallery that opened up near his own shop. “It’s a good thing,” says Cisneros, about more art being brought to the Fruitvale District. “We’re trying to make our own true kind of art scene here in the Fruitvale San Antonio area,” said Cortez, “Fruitvale has always been a beautiful place.”

Amy “Corazón” George-Cortez of Oakland, Calif., watches the blessing of the Aztec Dancers at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. The dancers blessed the unveiling of the new space and art gallery. (Photograph by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

Amy “Corazón” George-Cortez of Oakland, Calif., watches the blessing of the Aztec Dancers at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. The dancers blessed the unveiling of the new space and art gallery. (Photograph by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

George-Cortez personally welcomes guest to the reception of Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. “We like to create an environment that’s comfortable for people just to come relax, be able to look at art,” said Cortez, “and not have to worry about any kind of stigma or anything like that.” (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

George-Cortez personally welcomes guest to the reception of Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. “We like to create an environment that’s comfortable for people just to come relax, be able to look at art,” said Cortez, “and not have to worry about any kind of stigma or anything like that.” (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

Cortez shows us his Grandfather’s television remote control, which is a part of his shrine at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. “He watched the world change through this,” says Cortez. He believes that the remote control, which his grandfather carved in Spanish after the letters had faded, is the closest thing to a work of art that his grandfather ever made. “It’s my greatest treasure,” he says. (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

Cortez shows us his Grandfather’s television remote control, which is a part of his shrine at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. “He watched the world change through this,” says Cortez. He believes that the remote control, which his grandfather carved in Spanish after the letters had faded, is the closest thing to a work of art that his grandfather ever made. “It’s my greatest treasure,” he says. (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

Cortez shows us his “altar” at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. On his shrine Cortez has religious artifacts of different religions, photographs and treasures he holds dear, including his grandfather’s first television remote control. (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

Cortez shows us his “altar” at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space, in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. On his shrine Cortez has religious artifacts of different religions, photographs and treasures he holds dear, including his grandfather’s first television remote control. (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

George-Cortez thanks guests for coming to the event at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. The event invite states, “It is the love and support from our family, friends and clients who have made it possible for us to grow.” (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).

George-Cortez thanks guests for coming to the event at Amor Eterno Tattoo and Art Space in Oakland, Calif., on June 8, 2013. The event invite states, “It is the love and support from our family, friends and clients who have made it possible for us to grow.” (Photo by: Natalie Rodriguez/Full Sail University).