“There are many issues, especially in current times, that people are increasingly afraid to talk about. It’s important to show the type of imagery I’ve painted for Taboo and record it, even if people are disturbed by it, or it makes them uneasy. It is necessary to create a conversation of connection; we need to engage, participate, support, enlighten and inform one another. It’s time to give the voice back to the clay.” – Virgil Ortiz
alter-Native & Equality | 14.5” X 8.5”
The Zuni “princess” We’wha (WAY-wah; b.1849), as the local media dubbed her, was an instant celebrity. She boldly stepped forward in the late 1800s as the embodiment of the two-spirit, an individual who combined male and female traits into a socially-recognized third gender roll. As much as she mesmerized Eastern American society, she also characterized the strength of her role in her tribal community. Natives often considered two-spirit people to be among the strongest and most intelligent. Today’s transgender issues and controversy find inspiration in the life of We’wha, and also a voice in pop culture through musical icons like Boy George, Pete Burns, Ru Paul, Grace Jones and others who are shaping and pushing forward the agenda of the LGBT rights movement.
Bi-Furcation | 12” X 9.5”
Up in Arms | 12” 10”
We play with them as kids and fight with them in war. The toy becomes a weapon in the hands of a child. The weapon of war and peace becomes a tool of violence and oppression in the wrong hands. We use them to punish ourselves and others. Too often it is women and children who are found at the wrong end of the barrel. The lonely and desperate seek sad solace in a bullet. Attention. Prevention. A lock. A key. Reform. Regenerate.
Rise Up | 19” x 15
The world today seems increasingly turbulent and uncertain. The jar speaks for the degradation of women and the continued need for their empowerment. This has long been an important theme in my art. The women’s fists are uplifted. They are the ones to hold our leaders accountable or they will be “hung out to dry”. The fists are entwined with the symbolic black snake of the oil pipelines. It is corruption that will eventually eat away at politicians from the inside out. I painted each section of this jar as a call for those who feel empowered to rise up.
OPENS JULY 21 THROUGH AUGUST
KING GALLERIES | 130 LINCOLN AVENUE, SUITE D | SANTA FE, NM 87501
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 310.918.9154