Ricardo Fernandez Ortega


In today’s highly digitized society, few champion techniques that belong to historical art movements. Mexican artist Ricardo Fernandez’s way of adding and subtracting light and carefully controlling rich dark, luscious tones resembles great 17th-century Spanish masters such as Diego Velazquez. His intuitive ways of using lights and darks (chiaroscuro), takes us to a mysterious, sometimes surreal space, where women wear elegant armor, extravagant headdresses and exist in empty terrains while participating in strange, but fantastical and dream-like activities.

Through his usage of a historical style, Ortega authentically assembles an extended body of work that resembles and continues, in many ways, the legacy of the old Spanish masters. His curious themes may feel contemporary, but overall it is hard not to go back in time while enjoying these skillfully-painted works of art.

"I try to come close to realism in order to achieve a specific visual purpose. That purpose is to provide something that connects to both the viewer and myself in a very particular way, psychologically speaking. People respond to realistic painting quite differently than they do to abstract or less realistic work. I want to evoke the response people have to very realistic images without actually becoming a realist or photo-realist painter. I simply want the viewer’s mind to respond to my work in a way that is similar to how it responds to photorealist and hyperrealist painting. But from there, I want to achieve something quite different than photorealists and hyperrealists."

- Excerpt from the article, "The Sun of Durango"