KC Ortiz on Jail, Photography, and Fear

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010
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Pick up the current September issue of Juxtapoz to read this full interview, but here are a few of our favorite quotes from the artist pulled from his feature story:

 

 

KC Ortiz on time spent in jail:

 

“First of all, I think prison was probably a motivating factor for everything I do, as it’s pretty big part of who I am, for better or worse. Five and a half years anywhere for anyone is going to shape a person. I was 21 years old when I got locked up, and like any 21 year old I pretty much thought I had it all figured out. I already had a fair share of life experience by that point, as I had been on my own essentially since the time I was 15. At 21, the world to me was all about money and respect. But I really didn’t see the big picture, just my own little world. So prison put that in perspective. It definitely taught me money isn’t shit.”

 

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On hairy situations:

 

“I’ve been shot at more from growing up in Chicago than I have working on any project. But there was about a 20-minute window in Laos where I was with the Hmong rebels where we were surrounded by the LPA on all sides. Thankfully we were dug deep enough into our little spot in the jungle that they didn’t find us. Even though we could see them, they never saw us. […] But I’ll tell you; the things that scare me the most are land mines. There’s no real warning on those except when people tell you that there are land mines around. Plus, I’ve seen first hand the damage those can do.”

 

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The best food:

 

“I’d have to go with Vietnam on that. India is pretty good, too, provided you like Indian food. But it’s real hit or miss depending on where you go. I avoid the world’s take on Italian in most places I go. There’s nothing worse than spaghetti in Thailand, or anywhere in Asia, to me.”

 

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Portrait detail of Ortiz by Ruedione

Images courtesy of the artist

 

 

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