Cruz Ortiz lives and works in San Antonio, Texas and uses painting, print, sculpture, drawing, and public activation to address issues related to his experiences growing up in the bicultural landscape of South Texas.
Ortiz has had solo exhibitions at Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art in Houston, Texas; Artpace in San Antonio, Texas; Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas; the University of Texas in Austin, Texas; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, in Santa Barbara, California. He has been invited to participate in many major international exhibitions and institutions such as the Louvre in Paris, France; EVA in Limerick, Ireland; the traveling exhibition Phantom Sightings with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Juan Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and at the Blue Coat Museum in Liverpool, England. Recently, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. acquired a larger-than-life portrait of noted Chicano scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto.
In 2013, Absolut Vodka asked to collaborate with him on designing Absolut Texas, a special limited edition that was created for the entire state of Texas. Cruz and his wife Olivia have recently launched a new project that revolves around his love of hands-on printmaking and graphic design with a purpose. Burnt Nopal is a creative factory that produces thoughtful design influenced by contemporary art.