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tony.ortega
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Tony Ortega holds an MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado and is currently an associate 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).

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2D Paint/Draw
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Historically, artists have responded to social concerns around them with artwork that depicts culture, social injustice, human rights, environmental degradation and political power. Artists have created artwork as extensions of their caring hearts and concerned minds to explore the aesthetics of interconnectedness and social responsibility. My goal as an artist is to create artworks that are personal and express a sense of social responsibility.

 

As a Chicano artist my identity, cultural and geographic backgrounds are integral in my art.  For numerous artists and myself these experiences, our cultural hybridity, becomes a foundation in our artwork, addressing the distinctions between the worlds we experience or ways that they combine them to form a new outlook of our identity. We live in a world that is constantly on the move with the ease of travel across long distances. People move between places and cultures either as an immigrant, refugees, workers, tourists or the blurring of geographic borders. This cultural hybridity has been a theme in my body of work since I first ventured into the fascinating field of art.  With art, I can address the differences in my world, forming a new and more accurate outlook of my personal and cultural identity.

 

The demographics of this country are changing as the population of Latinos increases. The border as we know it is changing. The border is no longer just at El Paso, Juarez, San Diego or Tijuana. The border is here in Denver where I live; it is in Los Angeles and in Phoenix. The border either expands or is shot full of holes. Cultures and languages mutually invade and affect one another. The United States daily receives uncontainable migrations of human beings. This phenomenon is the result of multiple factors that include unemployment, overpopulation and especially the enormous disparity in North/South relations.

As an artist I compose with paints, pastels, appropriated images, digital technology, found posters, prints and forms. This enable me to use distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect. My work interweaves, juxtaposes, and overlaps unlikely images from American, Mexican and Chicano popular cultures that include icons, symbols, history, humor and the contemporary world to foster opportunities for the bending of meaning.