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San Antonio, TX
Cruz Ortiz is an American Contemporary Artist who uses multiple mediums examining connections to nature, hope, healing, beauty, endurance, and the cosmos. He uses bold graphic screen prints, figurative abstract portraiture, dream-like landscape paintings, temporal guerrilla installations, utilitarian machines, hand carved wood sculptures, large scale public art, video, and performance art. He is interested in the exhausting narratives searching for love and the sense of home land. Ortiz is constantly working in the studio, jumping from traditional studio methods such as painting and sculpture to commercial printmaking and print design projects. Most of his works are created with a sense of exigency, only so he can keep up with the ever evolving ideas and visual manifestos eager to be revealed. Early in his career he would thrash through photography, screen prints and video projects in a very punk skater rasquache manner, which involved staged performances and make-shift projection art parties.
Currently, Ortiz has been exclusively working on painting as a romantic art historical form of documentation. It is through the use of this archaic form that he is taking risks of institutionalizing subject matter. In a time where everything is now digital and virtual, Ortiz is mixing oil paintings and painting from direct observation, while detecting the importance of painting for the future. He is also very interested in how painting pushes the critical contextualization of social political issues. His artistic projects aim to center the periphery to capture moments in history, especially the settler state that has tried, over and over, to erase from collective memory. With a great sense of urgency to record, preserve, and disseminate, he paints.
Ortiz has committed himself to creatively collaborating with cultural arts organizations and social justice organizations for most of his career. He was also a public high school instructor for 15 years, working with diverse urban students. Cruz Ortiz has had solo exhibitions at: ARTPACE in San Antonio, Texas; the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas; the University of Texas in Austin; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara, in Santa Barbara, California; and the Judd Foundation, in Marfa, Texas. He has been invited to participate in many major international exhibitions and institutions such as: the Louvre in Paris, France; EV-A in Limerick, Ireland; the traveling exhibition Phantom Sightings with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; the San Juan Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and at The Blue Coat Museum, in Liverpool, England. His work is in the permanent collections of Ruby City, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the University of Texas at San Antonio Library Special Collections, the Arizona State University Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.