Cruz Ortiz, who lives and works in San Antonio, Texas, uses painting, print, sculpture, drawing, and public activation to address issues related to his experiences growing up in the bicultural landscape of South Texas.
Thoroughly grounded in the history of art, contemporary art practices, and social-political cultural movements, Ortiz’s unique language fuses classical icons with symbols of contemporary pop culture such as taco trucks and tire shop signage. He has engaged the public with interactive works such as wheat paste murals, communal art events, guerilla AM radio broadcasts, and ephemeral street sculptures. His recent works include field research into the historical frameworks of easel oil painting and its relationship to documenting Texas landscapes while weaving in the regional language juxtapositions of Tex-Mex.
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 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.
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. Currently he has launched a small boutique design firm that revolves around his love of hands-on printmaking. Snake Hawk Press is a creative factory that produces printed matter such as posters, broadsides, invitations, artist editions, and t-shirts.