Virgil Ortiz, Cochiti, American, 1969-
Born: Cochiti pueblo
Work Locations: Cochiti pueblo
Active Dates: 1975- present
clay, slip, and wild spinach paint
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum

Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti), MC, 2011. Clay, slip, and paint; 19 x 13 x 5½ in. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2016.123. Photography by and courtesy of  Virgil Oritz

height: 19 in, 48.2600 cm; width: 13 in, 33.0200 cm; depth: 5.5 in, 13.9700 cm
Native Arts
Indigenous Arts of North America

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.”

—Virgil Ortiz

Photo credit: Virgil Ortiz

Known Provenance
Virgil Ortiz Creations, Cochiti, NM, 2011; Vicki and Kent Logan, Scottsdale, AZ, 2011; Denver Art Museum, 2016

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