The Artwork of Ricardo Ortega transcends time and takes us on a mystical journey into an ancient way of life. His paintings reveal an array of indigenous symbols from Mexico’s past, turning his colorful compositions into modern day codices which reveal the history, myths, legends and spiritual beliefs of the Mexica people, better known as the Aztecs. Each painting captures the heritage of his ancestors, who held the arts with high regard, truly believing that the Tlacuilo (The Painter) had his heart rooted in God and would transfer the symbols of divinity to his paintings. This ancient tradition of creativity is the root of Mr. Ortega’s art. In his paintings we see and feel a deep spiritual presence illuminating his compositions. His visions tend to stay away from the political, militaristic side of the Mexicas, keeping his eyes focused on the beautiful artistry they surrounded their lives with, along with their deep devotion to the gods who ruled the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld. It has been written that the Aztecs were conquered and their way of life destroyed, yet here we see that they still live and breathe, through the artistry of this twenty-first century Tlacuilo, The painter Ricardo Ortega.
The artwork of Ricardo Ortega has been exhibited at numerous galleries, beginning with his first exhibition at Galeria Las Americas in Santa Monica in 1995. Others include, Lankershim Art Gallery in NoHo, Pueblo Gallery in L.A., Carlotta’s Passion in Eagle Rock, Casa de la Cultura in Las Cruces, New Mexico, DA Gallery in Pomona, Dr. Rudy Acuña Gallery in Oxnard and many others throughout his years of exhibiting. He has given lectures along with slide shows at different Universities and high schools in Southern California. From 1995 – 2000 Ricardo was a committee member of Cultuaztlan, a grassroots organization that helped bring cultural festivals and artist workshops into his home town of San Fernando CA. He went on to join Artino Arts group of L.A. receiving much recognition in the promotion of Latino Art.
Ricardo and his wife Alma have lived together for 20 years and have raised 3 boys, Vincent 17, Matthew 10, and Jacob 8. He enjoys working throughout the week and spending weekends with his family. His favorite time to paint is amidst the stillness and quiet of night. He considers his hours of creation to be a sacred practice that is divinely inspired. The Artist remarks, “I never know what a painting is going to come out like when I start. I don’t even know what style of brush strokes I’ll use, or what colors go where. There is a spirit, an ancient spirit much wiser than me that guides my brush and lets me learn what I am capable of.” The artwork of Ricardo Ortega is a manifestation of supernatural visions which appear in his conscience and with the grace of his talent and spiritual calling, we are able to experience the mystical union of Spirit and Art.