Ijania Cortez (b. Detroit, MI 1990) is a self-taught fine artist living and working in Detroit. Her practice is centralized around painting, but also includes murals and mixed media works. She is known for her use of color and for the subjects her portraits depict—exclusively Black men from the inner city. Influenced by a modest childhood in ‘90s Detroit and her love for the residents there, her work serves to create conversations between painting and viewer. In her practice, Cortez uses neon color to note the contemporary era, showing her subjects as natural and central in environments that are unnatural, a reflection of the man-made conditions of the city. Her work interrogates beauty and vulnerability in masculinity, as well as the ability to thrive and exist despite adversity. She hosted her first solo exhibition, a Summer Nativity, in July 2017.