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Back Talk with Rey Ortega

Juxtapoz // Friday, 07 May 2010

Rey Ortega’s exhibit opening tonight at WWA gallery, The Land, is about a fictional people and place of his own design. Ortega explores the fantasy world of The Land as though from an anthropologist's or historicist's point of view by examining the land, its people, their architecture, objects, and culture.


Ortega uses several different methods of image- making in this collection of new works, in order to make The Land a real place and to give its people a rich history and culture. By creating a piece painted with ink and brush on rice paper, as if it were an ancient scroll depicting a place or event (not unlike the ukio-e scrolls in Japanese art) and then recreating the same place or event, but this time drawn "years later" by an adventurer in a sketchbook, Ortega allows the viewer to look at The Land as it would have been seen overtime by its own people and by outsiders alike.



Today, I feel:


Like I should exercise, but I probably won't.


If you had three wishes, what would they be?


Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man), World Peace and a steak dinner - not necessarily in that order.


Do you consider yourself a funny person?


Kinda? Does it count if I make jokes but no one laughs? Maybe not.



If you had one magic power, what would it be?


Flotation in mid-air. Not like, Super-Man flying, just...floating. That could be fun.


Something that makes you happy?


The feeling that you might be making a person's day better, even if it's just in a small way.


Something that makes you mad?


The feeling of being used but not appreciated.


What was your favorite subject in elementary school?


Bible studies, it was so easy. The answer was usually "Jesus", "God" or "Love". Bam, A+.



If you feel a creative block, what do you do to jumpstart inspiration?


There's nothing more intimidating to me than a blank sheet of paper. Sometimes to get over that block, I just start making marks, even random scratches or splatters is enough to jump start the system.


When someone is taking a photo, do you smile for the camera or turn your head?


I try and make the goofiest face possible, because I'm immature like that.


Are you a social network enthusiast?


I go through spurts where I'm really into it, and then after a month or two I leave it all.


What is a quality you don’t like about yourself?


I tend to over-think things.



Last good book you read?


Haruki Murakami's "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle". If we can count comics then I choose Grant Morrison's current run on the Batman series.


Who has had the most impact on your life?


Jim Henson. In ways that I don't think I can even fully articulate. He was the first person I recognized as the "creator" of a thing that I enjoyed. When he died, I started to realize that even if Muppets or whatever can live forever, we loose something when that original source is gone.


Are you spiritual?


Yes, but I often loose my way for months at a time, kinda like the social networking question.


One word to describe your artwork?





What’s missing in your life?


A girlfriend, that, and a jetpack.


Are you a pet person?


Well, I've had pets in the past, but uh...not anymore...because they died.


Is your artwork understood?


Yes. Although sometimes I don't even know what I'm doing, I think most folks get the feeling I intend.



The most trouble you’ve ever gotten into:


The most trouble that I've been in was not my own fault. I've been framed, it's a conspiracy!


Where do you imagine yourself in five years?


Drawing and painting still, probably on the moon and taking breaks to watch holographic movies and Beyond Thunderdome style fights.



Rey Ortega’s The Land opens tonight, Friday, May 7th at WWA Gallery.


WWA gallery

9517 Culver Blvd

Culver City, CA 90232




About Rey Ortega:

Rey Ortega is a graduate of the Sheridan Institute of Design and Technology’s B.A.A. Illustration program. His work has previously been shown at Show & Tell Gallery in Toronto and has since produced editorial, advertising, and comic works both locally and abroad. Ortega’s been able to apply his craft in a variety of disciplines, each time striving to maintain the spirit of drawing. Rey Ortega lives and works in Toronto, Canada.




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