Los Dioses de los Pochos
Wednesday October 2, 6-8pm
October 2 – 27, 2019
13 Monroe Street, New York NY 10002
PROTO GOMEZ proudly presents Los Dioses de los Pochos, a selection of bold new work by Brooklyn-based painter Anna Ortiz that takes as its central subject imagined deities and patron saints of the Mexican diaspora.
Long focused on the landscape as a source of inspiration for her paintings, in Los Dioses de los Pochos artist Anna Ortiz shifts to a more personal terrain, that of the socio-political and specifically cultural ground, an area particular to this Latinx artist with familial Mexican roots. (Anna Ortiz is a first-generation Mexican-American on her father’s side, whose grandfather was a Guadalajaran portrait painter).
The series features oil on canvas works in predominantly monochromatic tertiary hues. These jewel-toned paintings depict “Los Dioses”, fantastical pre-Cortesian idols and archeological statuary set against psychological backdrops, both rife and bereft of natural flora. The artist refers to these deities as “liminal beings in a liminal world” and with names like “El Desollado” (the flayed, or bare-faced one), “La Sequía” (the drought), and “Código” (the code), these gods seem both Aztec deities of the past and also contemporary divine offspring, imagined as having patronage over the emotional and physical travails of their Mexican-American subjects.
Los Dioses de los Pochos can be roughly translated as The Gods of the Mexican Expats or Chicanos (Americans of Mexican descent). Pocho itself being a term that more generally refers to a bruised surface, like an imperfect or rotting fruit. The experience of the Pocho or Chicano is often marked by an incomplete belonging to either side of the cultural/geographic divide i.e. too Mexican for American acceptance and/or too American for Mexican authenticity. It is within these in-between areas, the borderlands as the artist calls them, that Ortiz situates this new series of paintings. Against the alarming rise of American nationalism and in opposition to a politically heightened anti-immigrant sentiment, the paintings within Los Dioses de los Pochos stand as a paean to the Latin-American “other”, a clarion call to the guiding spirits of all immigration, and an offering to the foundational, true spiritual roots upon which, and through whose hands, this nation is continually realized.
Anna Ortiz (born in Worcester MA, currently living in Brooklyn NY) is a painter primarily focused on creating socio-psychological landscapes. Her work reflects on global issues through painterly collapses and constructions. Ortiz received a BA/BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. During her undergraduate years, she spent a year studying at the Louvre in Paris. Ortiz completed her MFA at Tyler School of Art, spending her second year in Rome Italy. Her work has been exhibited at Proto Gomez, Transmitter, TSA, Partners and Son and Lesley Heller.
PROTO GOMEZ is a contemporary art gallery located at 13 Monroe Street in the Two Bridges neighborhood of New York City, presenting contemporary artwork by emerging and mid-career artists in a storefront exhibition space. PROTO GOMEZ is Nick De Pirro + Enrico Gomez.
Anna Ortiz : Los Dioses de los Pochosis on view at PROTO GOMEZ (13 Monroe Street, New York, NY 10002) from October 2nd – October 27th 2019 weekends noon-6pm and by appointment. For further information please contact the gallery at email@example.com or at +1.917.719.1447. All images are subject to copyright.