Ortiz, Virgil – “South Directional Figure” 1995
This clay figure by Virgil Ortiz is from 1995. It is coil built and painted with a white clay slip and additional red clay. The black is wild spinach, which is a plant. The figure is what he called his “Directional Figures” representing the North, South, East, and West. Each figure was a different color and this one represents the South, as the body is mostly painted red. Virgil did not want to re-create ceremonial figures in his work and so he created this style to tell a Pueblo story of the four directions, but with his own style. The figure was traditionally fired and the small clay tabs were added after the firing. The piece is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Virgil Ortiz”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.