Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gustavo Ortiz

Modern art with firm roots in cultural folk art tradition really fascinates me.

We’re all influenced, obviously, by a variety of lingering memories or more purposeful inspirations when we pick up our tools to make art. In my own work I know that escaping into tree tops for hours as a kid immersed in a bird’s eye view of the surrounding geography has a strong resonance within my creative out put. But what I’m really stunned by is the ability some artists have to work with and within the much more traditional formats of cultural referencing and folk art…and yet manage to come out of that framework with vibrant, living and very relevant work.

Gustavo Ortiz is definitely one of those artists’s that makes historical myths and traditional cultures sing for our contemporary senses.

Here are Gustavo’s own words describing his work: “Influenced by colonial art as well as native indigenous artistic practices, my paintings are distinctly Latin American in their hybrid blending of both a European and a South American heritage. Using collage as my primary medium, I combine the whimsical elements of Naïve art with the unexpected juxtapositions of Surrealism, creating an atmosphere of surprise, charm, and simplicity. Populated by disproportionate human figures, animals, and objects that tightly occupy reduced landscapes, my paintings draw on the native myths and legends of Latin America, and the decorative quality and tactile texture of the compositions resonate with traces of indigenous art and craft. The strong use of color and the patterns of clearly defined shapes afforded by the medium of collage give an air of childlike naivety and understated humor to my paintings which, created in series, offer narratives of the wonder and enchantment of human experience.”

[all work by/belongs to Gustavo Ortiz, images via his Flickr photostream]

For more head to Gustavo's Flickr photostream...

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