His thermo-dynamic paintings and sculptures – at first glance seemingly a contemporary take on high modernist abstraction – comprise hidden layers of meaning and narrative below the multiple layers of industrial car paint used. Whilst his earlier works used the power of images to express social commentary and narrative, his thermo-dynamic works integrate these same cultural preoccupations - such as the car culture in LA and the underlying issues of this -but on a more subliminal level. The abstraction of the works leave them open to individual interpretation, allowing for multiple avenues of thought not possible through the traditional and more didactic practice of figuration.
About Rubén Ortiz-Torres
Though Rubén Ortiz-Torres’s interests and techniques have varied widely over the course of his career, they always reflect the environments that have shaped his identity. Ortiz-Torres has produced such diverse works as feature films, 3D videos, paintings, sculptures, kinetic installations, photo-collages, and performances, all having to do with his personal experience of the world. “Our identities are fluid and ever-changing,” he once said. “The human cognitive process is an unstable constellation of webs, fusions, and hybrids.” Though he was trained as a realist painter, he became known in the 1980s as a photographer and printmaker influenced by Mexico City’s punk scene. He attributes the more recent proliferation of cars in his work to experiences in Los Angeles and a childhood affinity for models.
Mexican, b. 1964, Mexico City, Mexico, based in Los Angeles, California