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Tony Ortega: Doble Sentido

3rd Floor Foyer | February 1 - May 15, 2019 

About the Artist

Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado and is currently a full professor for Regis University. He is the recipient of the coveted Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts (1999) and the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts (1998). He has been a working artist and teacher for the past 30 years. Tony Ortega’s lifelong goal is to contribute to a better understanding of cultural diversity by addressing the culture, history and experiences of Latinos through his art. His work can be found in Denver Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center.  Tony’s artwork is represented in Denver, Colorado at the William Havu Gallery. He has exhibited in United States, Latin America and other parts of the world. For more information, please visit his web site at:

Artist Statement

My art reflects a cultural and historical confluence or hybridity. For me, hybridity is a process that intersects two separate cultures. It is a constant process of negotiation between different cultural groups, a form of intercultural dialogue. Hybridity can be viewed as the space where communication between cultures takes place.
As a Chicano artist, my identity as well as my cultural and geographic backgrounds are integral in my art.  For me, and for numerous Chicano artists, our experiences, and our cultural hybridity, are the foundation of our artwork, as we address the distinctions between the worlds we experience and how they combine to form our identity. With art, I can address the differences in my world, forming a new and more accurate personal and cultural identity.
I create artwork by combining digital technology with traditional painting techniques. Both the practices of painting and working in Adobe Photoshop involve working in layers. I use Adobe Photoshop to merge a variety of appropriated images into new hybrid compositions. With the results of these varied hybrid images, I create matrices that become the key elements into the print portion of the compositions and I mix them with acrylic and or watercolor paint. In other words, I am printing into my paintings or painting into my prints. 
Distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect are significant in my art. I apply vivid and dynamic color, overlapping transparent color with opaque color, combining flat space with cubical space. I interweave western concepts of perspective, light/shadow, and overlapping of shapes with the indigenous folk art design of simplified geometric shape, brilliant pastel colors, creating a harmonious composition. I lift, sample, remix and redesign numerous images, icons, and symbols that I come across from popular American, Mexican and Chicano cultures. I juxtapose and superimpose history, politics, sense of place, with humor and satire, to foster opportunities for the bending of meaning.

En Español

Mi arte refleja una confluencia cultural e histórica o hibridación. Para mí, la hibridación es un proceso que cruza dos culturas separadas. Es un proceso constante de negociación entre diferentes grupos culturales, una forma de diálogo intercultural. La hibridación puede ser vista como el espacio donde tiene lugar la comunicación entre culturas.

Como artista Chicano, mi identidad así como mis antecedentes culturales y geográficos son parte integral de mi arte.  Para mí, y para numerosos artistas Chicanos, nuestras experiencias, y nuestra hibridez cultural, son la base de nuestra obra de arte, ya que abordamos las distinciones entre los mundos que experimentamos y cómo se combinan para formar nuestra identidad. Con el arte, puedo hacer frente a las potencial en mi mundo, formando una nueva y más precisa identidad personal y cultural.

Yo creo obras de arte mediante la combinación de la tecnología digital con las técnicas de pintura tradicionales. Tanto las prácticas de pintura como el trabajo de Adobe Photoshop implican trabajar en capas. Utilizo Adobe Photoshop para fusionar una variedad de imágenes apropiadas en nuevas composiciones híbridas. Creo matrices que se convierten en los elementos clave en la parte de impresión de las composiciones y las mezclo con acrílico y acuarela. En otras palabras, estoy imprimiendo en mis pinturas o pintando en mis impresiones. 

Distorsión y exageración para el efecto emocional son significativas en mi arte. Aplico color vívido y dinámico, superpuesto color transparente con color opaco, combinando el espacio plano con el espacio cúbico. Entrelacé conceptos occidentales de perspectiva, luz/sombra, y superposición de formas con el diseño del arte popular indígena de forma geometral simplificada, colores pastel brillante, creando una composición armoniosa. Levanto, muestro, remezclados y rediseño numerosas imágenes, iconos y símbolos que me vienen a través de las culturas populares americanas, mexicanas y Chicanos. Yuxtapuesto y superpuesto la historia, la política, el sentido del lugar, con humor y sátira, para fomentar oportunidades para la flexión del sentido.


February 1 - May 16



January 26 - May 9