Last week Garth Clark wrote a review of Virgil Ortiz’s excellent exhibition that brings together ceramics, native history, storytelling and — strangest of all— science fiction. Below is a short interview with Ortiz, who talks about his upbringing in clay and the business of making figurines for the art market.
Above image: Viirgil Ortiz Made In Native America® Denver Art Museum Revolt 1680 – 2180
“We were always raised with clay in our hands,” Ortiz says of Cochiti Pueblo. “I thought everyone did pottery. It never dawned on me that it was any kind of artwork.”
As you listen to Ortiz, keep in mind how this all ties back into his current exhibition. He speaks about the “tunnel vision” gallery owners have for figurative art; there was always pressure to make pieces for the masses. We can’t help but think he subverted that in a grand style by combining his work with epic sci-fi storytelling, which takes its narrative beats from the mega-popular media currently screening in movie theaters and lining the shelves of comic book stores across the planet. This adds another topic to our list about Virgil Ortiz: who is he speaking to? why? and does the form of his message change his audience? What do you think? Let us know.
What do you think about Virgil Ortiz’s take on his art? Let us know in the comments.