“The taboo of how people are treated when they are diagnosed with cancer is something very close to me and my family.  The silhouette of this piece at first glance appears to be an exclamation point.  I sculpted it so that it also resembles an MRI machine laid on its back. The figure is designed in a classic sculptural style with the arms cut off.  It strikes me that a person feels like their hands are tied when they first learn of a cancer diagnosis.  The painting on the body of the figure represents the endless journey to find a cure and the circles are the “mapping and markers” on the body. The figure has no hair, the impact of the chemotherapy.  I painted a blindfold to represent the lives taken and it is to be removed when in remission.  The center detail is the turkey track, the “x”.  I use this design element on all my pottery, a symbol of staying a step ahead and not being followed.  That’s how I see the affiliation to cancer, trying to keep a step ahead and become survivors with strength and triumph.”  Virgil Ortiz


Virgil Ortiz Original Clay Works | TABOO Series
20″ x 8″
Traditional methods and materials:
Cochiti red clay, white clay slip, red clay slip, black (wild spinach) paint.


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