- Virgil Ortiz, Cochiti, American, 1969-
- Born: Cochiti pueblo
- Work Locations: Cochiti pueblo
- Active Dates: 1975- present
Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti), Opera Singer, 2011. Clay, slip, and paint; 19 x 12 x 5½ in. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2016.120. Photography by and courtesy of Virgil Oritz
The Vertigo series was inspired by a photograph of Cochiti clay figures taken in the late 1800s. Ortiz recognized the connection between the figures he had been making and those made by his ancestors. He wanted to honor traditional aspects of his pueblo’s art as “a way of asking those potters before me to keep me going in the right direction and help me keep the art alive.” Pueblo history and knowledge of ancestral ways are recurring themes in Ortiz’s work and are integral to his vision.
“I studied the historic pieces to understand the lost techniques of making the hands, eyes, and feet. I was also inspired by the large size of the old figures and their use for social criticism.”
Photo credit: Virgil Ortiz
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