Raul Ortiz

Thursday, Dec 7, 2017 6 – 8 pm

1717 Central St.
Evanston, IL 60201

Ortiz was born in Ocampo, GTO, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was five. He received his BFA in Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001, and has exhibited in venues such as the University Club of Chicago, the Old Town Art Center, the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, the Rockford Art Museum and the Wright Museum of Art in Beloit, Wisconsin. He has also been an artist-in-residence at The Cliff Dwellers, Chicago in 2005. Ortiz currently lives and works in Chicago. 


Artist Statement:

The landscape, for the past several years, has been the catalyst for my paintings.

As a process painter, my goal is to create poetically contemporary landscapes that capture an array of subtle overlapping shapes, textures, light, scale and heightened color relationships that are derived from the tradition of abstraction. This exploration begins with photographing nature on walks during travels and around town. In the studio, photocopies of photographs are transferred to the canvas, collaged in layers by acrylic paint. Then I rework the organic forms and representational images by juxtaposing many layers of expressive brushstrokes, adding/removing patches of flat spaces for contemplation, building up light on a water's surface and randomly framing areas by the use of a silhouetted image, e.g. a tree or flora, to compose a unique space. I am also interested in shifting the composition by dividing the picture plane.

Influences for my work come from memories of my home town in Mexico, Japanese prints, Art Nouveau, Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, Gerhard Richter and Robert Kushner just to name a few, as well as the music of Impressionists Ravel, Faure and Debussy, and from daily experiences.

My current work is a series of paintings that reinterpret, reframe and update the landscape with a contrasting contemporary twist.