Artist talk with Michel Ortega
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'EXPRESSIVE CAPITALISM', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

50 x 70 cm

 

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Michel Ortega. I'm a Mexican artist living in Mexico City, I'm currently mostly interested in visual arts like painting, and illustration. My work explores self-referential topics that often leads me to dystopian and existential themes.

 

Where did you passion for art begin?

My passion for art started since I was a little boy, full of imagination, always drawing and trying to get better with the things that I draw. I consumed a lot of TV, music, and later in my childhood a lot Internet, so I wanted to create things as cool as the ones I saw.

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How would you describe your work to someone?

I feel and think that currently my work is about metaphors of the reality that I'm in. Images from a reality similar to this but weirder, maybe...

I like to create stories in every picture that I make, and I like to break some rules in the meantime. 

'POST-INFLUENCER DYSTOPIA', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

50 x 50 cm

What are you currently working on?

Right now I'm working on a new series of paintings. I want to represent this  great-reset, the new reality that is going on right now. I like to do that with the use of metaphors and in this new series of paintings I'm going for something new, trying to use new ways to tell the story.

 

When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?

Currently, I like to keep a balance between both, improvisation and planning. For me, what've worked the most is planning the main idea, and then you can improvise between some boundaries. If I have to say how much percentage of each, improvisation and planning, is in my work, I'll say 70% improvisation, 30% planning.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?

Recently, I've come back to appreciate the work of René Magritte, I really like what he did there, breaking the audience expectations in a very beautiful and clever way. My current influences are really in the comics, the   memes, pop music and pretty much in every other media of creation for us humans to create, share information, and express feelings. I like to pay attention, like a radar or a sonar that is detecting new signals, signals that I find interesting and make me feel something or think about something in a new way. That's where my influences are.

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I've just finished and shipped a commission painting to Europe and I would like to do some more for the remainder of this year, maybe a commission painting for someone in Israel and other for someone in Tokyo, I would love that. 

No, seriously, my plans for the rest of the year are to keep working on those new paintings and creative projects that I have all the time, create and share more. I'm thinking in a fall exhibition here in Mexico City and more surprises ˙ ͜ʟ˙ 

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'3031', 2021

Mixed media on canvas

80 x 100 cm