Please contact us at 480.481.0187 or
for information on Virgil's pottery.
works in Clay by Virgil Ortiz
The figures and pottery below
are sold. They are examples of Virgil's work in the gallery over the past
Recent Works in Clay,
Virgil created his first mono prints
in 2005 as the result of a grant. They were made in Phoenix, Arizona at
the renown Armstrong & Prior printing house. Below are pieces from his
second series of mono prints, the first series is sold out. Each
piece is a one-of-a-kind original print which combine a variety of embossing,
print making, appliqué, etching techniques.
From the March 26, 2004 in the New York Times of the new
exhibit of his work in New York City.
Ken Johnson wrote, "Mr.
Ortiz doesn't appropriate clichés of American Indian art as ironic treatment,
as some younger, intellectually ambitious Indian artists have done. Nor does he
recycle traditional forms and motifs with lifeless piety. He absorbs the
energies of the wider modern and contemporary world into Pueblo tradition with
which he is intimately in sync. (His) graphic sophistication shows in the
black-on-tan patterns that he paints on generously proportioned red clay pots.
With its sinuous botanical motifs, torqued geometric forms and bold, interwoven
bands, his painting extends Pueblo style while reflecting other traditions from
ancient Greek vase painting to Art Nouveau decorative design to contemporary
tattooing. Even livelier black-and-tan patterns cover the surfaces of the
bulbous, smoothly stylized heads and knee-high figures that he models in clay. "
Native flavor added to 'haute couture'
Special for The Republic
Oct. 20, 2004 12:00 AM
VO," the young blond woman said to her friend as they toured a new Native
American exhibition at the Heard Museum.
Both of them laughed when I commented that I was surprised she spoke a tribal
language. They left me standing there looking at pottery and wondering what I
had said that was so funny. I read the artist statement and then chuckled at
myself. The girl had been speaking the language of the fashion tribe known as
Native American potter Virgil Ortiz recently graduated from the mesas of New
Mexico to the high-rises of New York. Ortiz was selling his pottery at Santa
Fe's Indian Market last year when a woman remarked how much she liked his
work. She suggested that perhaps they could work together. A quizzical look
came over his face until she said, "I'm Donna Karan."
There may be a few people in America that wouldn't recognize the name, but Ortiz
wasn't one of them. He knew he was talking to one of the premier fashion
designers in the world. His head was spinning and he didn't know what to say,
but somehow he managed to mutter, "Yes."
A few days later the young maker of pottery was on a plane to New York and
touring the offices of DKNY with Karan herself.
"It was a mind-blowing experience to see how quickly designs were peeled from my
pottery and placed on couture pieces," Ortiz says. The transition from pueblo
potter to fashion designer was as surprising to Ortiz as was the earlier
realization that he came from a family of artists. "I had no idea. Making
traditional pottery was just something our family had been doing for generations
and what I'd been doing since I was a child."
What caught the eye of Karan were Ortiz's untraditional designs. You could be
forgiven for thinking the pieces were traditional at first glance. Look closer
and you quickly realize that his figures bear more resemblance to tattooed
Cirque du Soleil performers than pueblo deities. While tattoos are popular
among young artists today, you won't see them on Ortiz or any Cochiti Pueblo
natives who wish to attend tribal ceremonies.
Ortiz is one of the new wave of Native American artists stretching the
boundaries of traditional art, craft and design. He's as comfortable working
with new media as he is with something as ancient as clay. Ortiz comes by it
naturally. His mother, Seferina Ortiz, is an innovative potter whose pieces are
sometimes satirical and often humorous depictions of figures. Creating images of
tourists and Mexican circus performers from clay began over a hundred years ago
at the request of Santa Fe traders. Cochiti Pueblo potters complied and a
thriving business continues today. Ortiz took it several steps further and now
even has his own fashion line, appropriately called "VO."
When you visit Virgil Ortiz's pottery and fashion exhibition at the Heard,
you'll be stunned by the artistry of this New Mexico man. Hopefully not enough
to cause you to mistake the acronyms for Donna Karan's New York company and
Virgil Ortiz's for "DKNY VO" like I did. Stop laughing. It's the language of
Copyright: King Galleries, Charles King & Virgil Ortiz, 2001,
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013