We were eager to find more about his profound interest in our new tool, his art, and his inspiration. Interview with Ariel Ortega
How do you create your work? Where did you found your inspiration?
As a self-taught artist, I experimented with unconventional materials to create something unique. My art store became a local hardware shop. Common home improvement materials such as silicone caulking, expanding foam, plywood and spray cans became my medium. Raw building materials that would otherwise serve as a primer have been repurposed as a finishing touch for a greater purpose.
My main inspiration to produce art stemmed from my fascination for nature. Nature can provide many answers to life’s unsettling questions. Through art, I could present attributes of nature that are seldom considered. I found art to be a language outside of numbers and letters where academia had no reach.
You write on your website that you “believe art can act as a mediator between opposing belief systems” – how do you think art does that?
In my current artist statement, I talk about art being a mediator of world views. I say this because I believe art in its purest form is innocent and imaginative. Science and faith both seek truth as their primary objective. The law of non-contradictions tumbles progress in these two views. The artistic mind can reflect the truth here.
For example, we didn’t really invent flight. We mimicked the wings of a bird. Every technology we develop is just borrowing ideas from what nature has already established. But the concept of a higher power is truly a testimony of our imagination. Artistic beings, it is necessary for us to have a transcending outlook of ourselves. How else can we pin morality and love if these virtues are absent in nature? Even if they are mimicked, they cannot be quantified by science. Our imagination permits us to look outside the laws of nature, and art is the glue to keep it in context.
Your work is very tangible. We can feel the material – what is your conception of materials?
The materials are common and overlooked, just as man is made from dust. The concept is to work with raw materials and make them meaningful. My collection of miniature flowers is a self-seeking experiment of a god complex trying to get in the mind of a creator who creates individual beings. All the tiny flowers are unique and self-standing with a purpose in mind. Only the time can show you the intention the creator was working on all along.
You adopted your first .ART Digital Twin with your participation to Ars Electronica .ART Global Gallery, you have adopted 11 more since then. Why are you a fan of this digital solution?
It is the cutting edge of art preservation. My collectors deserve the best.
You created a .ART Digital Twin, the new tool from the .art Domains for online certification of artworks using the DNS system – what are your thoughts on it?
As an independent artist, I feel .ART Digital Twin acts as a liaison between my art and my collectors. It provides more than a certificate; it completes my ecosystem.
How do you think this contributes to creating value for artworks?
The Digital Twin definitely sets my work apart. The certificates have added an extra layer of value to my artwork. The boost of longevity has given my collectors a greater appreciation for my work.
How do you think we can use this tool?
It would be nice to have a file for each collector and keep all their art purchases in one file.
What do you hope to see in 2021 in the art world?
To be honest, I don’t have much to comment on here. I try to focus on my work and avoid much contact with the art world. I have had my share of letdowns with dealers and curators. Like every industry, it has its bad apples.
What piece of advice would you want to give to the other artists?
My number one advice is to stay in tune with humility, especially for emerging artists. I would say to talk less and work more, let your work speak for you. We live in a world that makes you believe everyone can be the next superstar, and most artists create for the praise and not for a cause. If one pursues art for the wrong reasons, it will never feel accomplished.
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank my muse, my beautiful wife, for taking the challenge of jumping on this crazy roller coaster ride with me against her will. She works so hard behind the scene to keep things rolling smoothly. My childhood best friend has been my number one collector and supporter since day one Elvin Villalobos. Last but not least, Jay Alexander was the oddball that launched my career to the next level. God works in mysterious ways.
- The most significant in your life (person, theory, model…) My wife, she’s a person and a model
- An object you can’t live without: Music, but if that’s not considered an object I will go with caffeine
- Favorite book: The Language of God by Francis S. Collins
- When I say “art”, what if your first thought? Pretentious
- What’s your idea of happiness? Dam, that’s a tuff one
- Your favorite art moment? Being part of Now Contemporary Art in Wynwood, Miami
- What the art world should be more of and less of? More art adviser less car salesperson
My name is Ariel Ortega. I am a sculpture, painter, and my work attempts to find coherency in nature and faith. My goal is to provide a unique experience and a lasting relationship with all who wish to support the cause of my work.
I own a private gallery space in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, which used to be the only location where I present my works.
Take a deeper dive into his work by strolling through his Instagram account @arielortega_art
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