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Ricardo Fernandez Ortega: Harvest

December 14, 2020 - Kelly Carper

For his December solo show, Mexican painter Ricardo Fernandez Ortega presents a body of work that is inspired by the symbolic idea of a “Harvest.” The harvest is a time for rewarding abundance after months of challenging labor, appropriately closing out a year that has tested our strength yet given us opportunities to learn and grow.

“This show tells us about the knowledge that arrives to our consciousness through the path of life,” says Ortega. “The paintings symbolize truths about health, love, and interpersonal relationships, and how they are linked to each other. These are the signs that lead us to bliss; they are the fruits of self-discovery.” 

Navigating Ortega’s surreal figurative paintings is like deciphering a dream; each element is purposeful and symbolic no matter how unexpected or strange it may seem. “Gifts from the Night” is an ominously lit oil painting featuring a female figure hovering over a leaping stallion as it glides through the night. Ortega speaks to the relevant symbolism of this piece: “A nightmare can be the one that teaches us to be above the circumstances, to balance ourselves with serenity even in what seems to be a tidal wave,” he says. “A great challenge reveals how strong and resilient we can be.”

This theme of strength and resilience continues throughout the show in pieces such as “Sun Seed,” which features a woman standing next to a stone lion. Under her arm she holds a large luminous feather, while floating beneath her palm is a small gold sphere. Ortega describes the scene through his eyes: “Over ancient vestiges where only the symbol of strength and justice remains standing, a liberated, serene, and hopeful figure emerges, carrying with her a seed that will be a sun, a source of inner energy.”

Skillfully painted with the realism of Spanish masters that came before him, Ortega’s paintings evoke quite a different response than those of the hyperrealists. Ortega paints in a way that speaks directly to our psyche, creating space for mystery, magic, and personal attachment. Preview his latest paintings for “Harvest” on the gallery website and join us for an in person opening on December 18th, 5-7pm.


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