Born in 1990 northern Mexico, he moved to the United States in 1999. In 2012, he received his B.F.A. from The Cooper Union and his M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art in 2016. Cortes studied with artists and educators Pablo Helguera and Doug Ashford, he also took part of a new initiative called Juncture, a collaboration between the Yale Law school and the School of Art. Under the tutelage of James J. Silk, director of the Schell Center for International Human Rights, Cortes together with artist Laura Genes were the recipients of the Schell Center for international Human Rights Travel fellowship Yale Law School (2015), together they traveled along the US-MX Border exploring the intersection between art and artistic practices and international human rights.
Mauricio is the recipient of the Jóvenes Creadores Mexican National Council for Culture and Arts painting fellowship (2013).Together with collaborator Laura Genes they received the Benjamin Menschel Travel Fellowship Award for “The Nancy Flowers Project”, a multimedia project with Hugo Genes that delivered photographs taken by anthropologist, Nanc Flowers in the 1980’s back to their subjects, the Pimental Barbosa, Xavante of Mato Grosso, Brazil and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Painting Fellowship (both 2011). Recent group exhibitions include Practice Makes Practice at Mulherin New York, Of Another, a two-person exhibition at Silk Road Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; Sunrise/Sunset at Infinity Room, Los Angeles; and Double Dip, MFA thesis at Greenhall Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. In 2015, a collaborative work with Laura Genes was exhibited as part of the 2015 Biennal de las Fronteras in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Mauricio Cortes currently lives and works in New York City.