top of page

Cruz Ortiz

Cruz Ortiz (b.1972, Houston, Texas) is a contemporary American artist who uses bold graphic screen prints, figurative abstract portraiture, dream-like landscape paintings, temporal guerrilla installations, utilitarian machines, multi-media sculptures, large scale public art, video, and performance art. Ortiz is interested in the exhausting narratives searching for love and the sense of belonging. He is constantly working in the studio, jumping from traditional studio methods such as painting and sculpture to commercial printmaking and print design projects. Most of his works are created with a sense of exigency, only so he can keep up with the ever evolving ideas and visual manifestos eager to be revealed. Early in his career he would thrash through photography, screen prints and video projects in a very punk skater rasquache manner, which involved staged performances and make-shift projection art parties. 

Currently, Ortiz has been exclusively working on painting as a romantic art historical form of documentation. It is through the use of this archaic form that he is taking risks of institutionalizing subject matter. In a time where everything is now digital and virtual, Ortiz is mixing oil paintings and painting from direct observation, while detecting the importance of painting for the future. With a great sense of urgency to record, preserve, and disseminate, he paints. 

Ortiz has committed himself to creatively collaborating with non-profit organizations for most of his career. He was also a public high school instructor for 15 years. He has had solo exhibitions at: ARTPACE in San Antonio, Texas; the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Texas; the University of Texas in Austin; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara, in Santa Barbara, California; and the Judd Foundation, in Marfa, Texas. He has been invited to participate in many major international exhibitions and institutions such as: the Louvre in Paris, France; EV-A in Limerick, Ireland; the traveling exhibition Phantom Sightings with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; the San Juan Triennial in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and at The Blue Coat Museum, in Liverpool, England. His work is in the permanent collections of Ruby City, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the University of Texas at San Antonio Library Special Collections, the Arizona State University Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

bottom of page