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Ricardo Fernandez Ortega: Equilibrium

October 3, 2018 - Kelly Skeen

Dramatic, mysterious and enchanting, Ricardo Fernandez Ortega’s figurative paintings intrigue us with complex symbolism and fantastical imagery. Ortega’s narrative work for his 2018 solo show, “Equilibrium” contemplates the idea of balance in reference to good and evil, freedom and commitment, strength and softness. Ortega’s female figures exist in strange settings, embarking on surreal journeys that explore these dichotomies.

Carl Jung wrote, “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.” Ortega cites Carl Jung’s shadow theory in describing the concept of “Equilibrium.” According to Jung, our “shadow” is the dark side of our personality and is linked to our primal instincts, which are often suppressed by our rational minds. Ortega’s figures seek to balance both forces, which we might call good and evil, and ultimately find strength in the acknowledgement of their “shadow.”

We see this equilibrium in pieces like “Truth Revealing Machine,” where a female figure in a white dress sprouts large, menacing bat wings. Her expression is contemplative as her dark wings oppose her otherwise innocent appearance. Animals play an important role in Ortega’s paintings, as they are sources of revealing symbolism. “I choose images that evoke a hidden story,” the artist explains.  “All symbols arrive in my paintings in an unconscious way. I am very confident that everything that catches my attention has a powerful meaning for the collective unconscious.”

Ortega’s provocative, eerie paintings balance classical techniques with surreal style, bridging connections between reality and our subconscious. His work can be interpreted in a myriad of ways as we allow our imagination to explore the otherworldly realms depicted in his paintings. Please join us on Friday, October 19thto experience Ortega’s latest work at the opening of “Equilibrium.”

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