Cruz Ortiz: Los Jardines

January 27 - March 12, 2022

I am tired ————-over the years painting has taught me so much — it has shown me how to go beyond what an image really represents or how an image functions – I can ask questions like ‘is this a story?’ – ‘is this a poem?’ —-what happens next is a desperate hunger to formalize on unlocking the knowledge of the image —-this is where I have to step back— to actually see what is happening through my practice. Where is painting taking me?

now there has to be a gradual understanding of me and my work – and where i stand in this moment in human history — on these ancestral lands —-this tierra under our feet —- my experiences as a human within the ever changing inter-intra social cultural political storms that weather my skin — i have been positioned for survival – to always be on – to constantly hopscotch my social posture before entities that are responsible for my exhaustion – so as not to give them a chance to chew out more from me ——- i know —- it’s pretty dark —- but this is why i dig in – i have no choice but to creatively reposition myself into having hope for something better – like dancing or walking through a garden —- i find myself

A construct i have used was the plight of the hopeless romantic – this silly lover archetype helped me understand the rat race I existed in — always with a twinkle in the eye i wanted to express the want and the need for a ‘dream’ – and due to my understanding of ancestral colonial trauma – i never actually even knew what that dream might be fulfilled as —- at times it was never the goal to realize the dreams – i found enrichment in the process – the point from A to B– that meant the most to me — — —-

new studio developments through painting have shown me something else – — i have painted ‘subject’ —i have painted ‘messages’ – i have painted the obvious and the clever — – –and now through the use of the materiality of paint – i’m painting for the first time – the paint and surface have now turned into a mirror – forcing me to reflect inward —while also seeing what is in front of me – and kinda like a double exposure on film —- i can see several images – the pictures are now paintings

ancestors would use masks, dance, song, peyote, and painted images on rock to connect to something we couldn’t understand but with ancient wisdom knew of something beyond our reality –

that connecting action for me is a shift – that in-between moment or place ——- that gap is where i’m finding painting

This shift is a blurred ambiguous phasing between what is real and what is of the cosmos – stimuli for the works are from direct observation, street style photography, internet images, political historical archives, personal memories, and cosmic realities —- images from life —-

and then they shift into something else- there is a moment when the image is unsurfaced from its original form— —– and then i get lost —drifting as the paintings shift into something else unrecognizable —–

“i’m not expressionist at all —-After all, I have nothing to express”—— francis bacon

cruz ortiz