Date & Time: October 5 – November 15
Location: Swirbul Library

The Adelphi University Exhibitions Program is pleased to present the work of New York painter, Anna Ortiz.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month and features new paintings from Ortiz’s recent “Dioses de los Pochos” series. The exhibition will occur in the Swirbul Library Gallery and will be open 10/5/2020 until 11/15/2020.

Artist Statement:

I have had a long standing interest in landscape painting as a locus for reflecting on current events, my personal history and the way in which painting acts as a lens for considering these themes. Most recently I have turned to my Mexican heritage as a source for inspiration for a new body of work titled “Dioses de los Pochos.” This series focuses on surreal scenes of invented deities resurrected from ruin.

Having grown up with one foot in the U.S. and the other in Mexico, it wasn’t until the recent surge in Trump inspired anti- Mexican rhetoric that I stopped taking my upbringing for granted. As a child I grew up going to visit my Mexican family every summer. My grandfather, Alfonso Ortiz Toscano made a living as a portrait painter in Guadalajara. When at an early age, I displayed an interest in art, Alfonso gave me painting and drawing lessons. The roots of my identity as an artist were planted in my grandfather’s studio.

Pochos is a term describing Mexican-Americans who are neither entirely Mexican or American. Often first generation Americans, Pochos have lost their Mexican culture and often don’t speak Spanish. They may feel disconnected to Mexico but not wholly American either. They live straddling the two cultures, perhaps creating a third in the process.

Similarly the deities in the series “Dioses de los Pochos” exist in liminal worlds. Inspired by the archeology of Mesoamerican figures, they come to life in dream like landscapes where they are neither dead nor alive. Their narrative nature references ancient Aztec and Mayan mythology while reflecting back on current events. Out of the ruins of their previous existence, these new gods embrace their ambiguity, existing somewhere between memory and imagination. Dualities define them, they give them shape. Weaving together invented spaces with references to actual places, the paintings take both a familiar tone and a sense of the uncanny.

Taken as a whole, my paintings offer a purview into an invented world existing just slightly out of the realm of possibility. By playing with spatial compression and a filtered palette, I invite viewers to consider the realities we create for ourselves and the possibilities that lie ahead.

View Anna Ortiz’s Web Site

For more information, please contact:

Jon Duff
Exhibitions and Art Collection Curator
Archives and Special Collections
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