I’m Tony Ortega, visual artist and professor.
Covid-19 has greatly effected the global population since January of 2020. This virus has traversed the world, resulting in sickness and deaths. Now, over a year in, we have all had to adapt to a new routine of isolation and social distancing.
With anxiety and uncertainty our daily lives have changed dramatically. It required a new way of planning and thinking. As an artist, sheltering at home has meant long periods of time in the studio to self reflect. It has also meant new forms of experimentation and how to incorporate that into my current body of work.
Many art and cultural institutions where closed. Many non-profits and artists are still seeing the effects of Covid-19. Art education has also suffered; we are all left without the ability to host many social events we all used to enjoy.
All my exhibitions were put on hold or canceled, my classes where taught remotely. With all these changes, the political climate has become intensified.
The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police provides yet another clear example of how race so often shapes our destinies. The Black Lives Matter movement has become a powerful demonstration that has been heard throughout the world.
These turbulent times have of course effected my current body of artwork.
While making these images, I continued my experimentation of alternative mark making and toner transfers along with my traditional drawing and painting.
I have become more innovative in my painting process, by using squeegees, spray bottles and scrapers in my creative process. I start off by diluting the paint with acrylic medium, making it more transparent. I then apply the color more abstractly onto a panel.
I use the squeegee or scraper to move the paint. This process causes the colors to run and blend together. You can see the softened edges and transitions that would be harder to do with traditional means of painting
The result, has a wonderful atmospheric quality that shows layering of semi transparent colors revealing under colors as well.
For me, process is more important than product.
For more information on my art, please visit my website at tonyortega.net.