Ortiz, Virgil – “Spirit World Army” Clay Figure
The pieces Virgil Ortiz has created an exceptional new series of pieces for “Taboo II: Fearless. Unshaken. Inspiring”. Virgil has focuses on various new topics of social commentary. Each piece is coil built, painted with wild spinach (black) and clay slips. This piece is entitled, “Spirit World Army”. Virgil says of this piece:
This piece speaks to the internal conflicts of those living with PTSD. For this sculpture, I honed in on my recent experience of using art to encourage Veterans with PTSD to share their stories and establish a new sense of self through healing. PTSD is not limited to those who have been deployed but can impact anyone as the result of a traumatic experience or encounter. The dramatic converging faces depict the internal battle of those who have PTSD. Their daily experience can be a duality of a suppressed painful past and the attempt to find normality in daily life. The three-pointed star and the three circles represent the infinite quest for stability and balance in their thoughts and lives. On the back, I painted Rorschach inspired silhouetted images of Vets to bring balance and overall symmetry to the form and design. The silhouettes speak to the proudest moments of Vets serving our county yet experiencing depression being away from their loved ones.” Virgil Ortiz
Technically, Virgil’s figurative work excels on this figure. The convergence of the two faces is both dramatic and visually stunning. There is a tightness to the way the faces flow into one another. The painted designs not only tell the story but emphasize the shape of the figure. While it may feel modern it certainly harkens to the early Monos figures and their often quite unusual use of human forms (real and imaginary). A piece which is both thought-provoking and timeless in concept and design.