Artist Wendy Ortiz works best without restraint. Nowhere is that more evident than in her first release with us All That’s To Come, available in a standard edition as well as an extremely limited hand-embellished edition. Read on as Wendy breaks down her debut RUN for us with several work in progress of this very personal piece, as well as the story behind her tumultuous relationship with art early on and much more. Snag yours exclusively on 1xRUN now before they are gone. . .
1x: Tell us a little bit about this piece. Is there anything immediate you would like to highlight?
Wendy Ortiz: This piece was created for a group show held at Spoke Art Gallery in San Fransisco earlier this year called Suggestivism: Resonance. The concept behind the theme was simply the artist’s narrative…which had no limitation. This is the best way I work. In the past I have made many attempts to mold my work for particular themes, as fun as some of those have been, those pieces have always fallen short. I never do well with rules and restrictions. This is why this piece is so dear to me, because it’s just plain me. I created freely without constraints.
1x: What materials were used to create this piece?
Wendy Ortiz: I’m a mixed media artist. For this piece I used color pencil, acrylic and oil on a wood surface.
1x: When was this piece created and how long did it take to complete?
Wendy Ortiz: Well, I’m down right terrible at logging my efforts. I created this piece earlier this year, and I’d say it took about 98 hours-ish to complete. I worked for a week straight with little to no sleep… 12 to 14 hour days give or take. I work best this way. Also, I never fully plan the entirety of a piece ahead. I like to start with a few design ideas and construct as I go along. There’s a lot of creating and destroying in the process. These things add up and take time. Too much time, perhaps.
1x: What is unique about this piece for you?
Wendy Ortiz: She comes from a different place. Somewhere deeper, darker and less pretty and just uncomfortable. I think her uniqueness is quite obvious, but I’m often wrong. Being asked to put her meaning in words is just about the most difficult thing. I always prefer to keep these things private. My words are all of the privacy I have anymore. But more broadly, she’s different because I stopped being my usual self creating her. I stopped sleeping, eating, grooming, etc, while her creation was in progress. I realize this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true nonetheless. I spent more hours attempting to get it ‘right’ with her than with any other piece prior. And it paid off in the end, I love her. I can’t say the same for so much of my work.
1x: What is it about your work that you feel resonates with people?
Wendy Ortiz: My guess is that my work is “surreal” enough to allow for the individual interpretation of the viewer. And this is what ultimately drives my art. To allow a connection to be created between the viewer and work and myself just being the “conduit.”
I purposely keep things a little vague and not overly personal. I feel there’s a deep importance in giving room for everyone else to find their own meaning in what I create.
1x: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Wendy Ortiz: Suffocating with the weight of a self imposed world… I’m sure this feeling will continue forever. I’m pretty certain it’s my innate MO.
1x: When did you first start making art?
Wendy Ortiz: I began making art as a small child. Too small to recall my age. But it was strictly discouraged in my household…to the point where my art supplies and works were thrown out regularly. I gave up the creative fight around high school and picked it back up while in college. I was studying biology and just wasn’t happy or fulfilled trying to become that Doctor my mother wanted me to become. Long story short, I dropped out and began drawing painting full time about eight years ago.
1x: Which artists did you draw inspiration from early on? Which artists inspire you now?
Wendy Ortiz: It was always the classics initially: Alphonse Mucha, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. To name a few of the ‘Current Greats’: James Jean, Etam Cru, Adam Hughes, Drew Stuzan and Audrey Kawasaki.
But a lot of my inspiration is derived from other art forms like music, books and films: Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Portishead, Quentin Terantino, Chuck Palahniuk.. And a thousand more.
1x: What would you say is your ideal environment like when working? Do you listen to music, watch movies, etc.
Wendy Ortiz: My process is simple: Complete solitude in my cave, great repetitive music (I say repetitive because I’m pretty sure I only listen to the same 50 songs anymore [I stray once in a blue moon]) and if I’m lucky, a glass or two of wine.
1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Wendy Ortiz: The first piece of art I purchased was over 16 years ago while I was living in Peru. It was from a leather craftsman. He had engraved an area of landscape of the city Chimbote (Where my mother was born) onto a belt. I had purchased it as a gift to my father who remained in the states at the time. Typical mom and dad drama, you know.
1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Wendy Ortiz: I recently purchased a gorgeous print from N.C. Winters titled “Mortal Coil”.
Now I just need to get my hands on an original.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Wendy Ortiz: No…I’m pleased as pie to end the year with a clean slate!