Virgil Ortiz, bringing Native New Mexico design into the future
November 24, 2013 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Virgil Ortiz is Cochiti Pueblo Native artist and fashion designer who makes pottery by traditional means, but with a range of inspirations, including futuristic design. As he discussed in this short interview clip, Ortiz is also interested in portraying the history of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. These inspirations blend in series such as Blind Archer: Tahu's Journey and Evolution, featuring 19 characters inspired by the 19 pueblos, in an effort to "use these characters to get the kids attention and it all comes back to teaching the youth and the world about the 1680 Pueblo Revolt."

The work of Ortiz reached a much broader audience following his 2002 collaboration with Donna Karan, moving his pottery styling to fabric. Ortiz' 2010 series Contortionista and the 2012 Venutian Soldiers series display the continuation of his explorations in fashion and pottery.
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I grew up in the Southwest AND studied anthropology at ASU; I've been surrounded by native art my entire life and it generally bores me, probably due to over exposure. But these... the works of this man... I'm so very impressed with his reinterpretations. Yes, he includes futuristic designs but anyone can do that; what's impressive is how subtly he blends it with traditional. Everything felt fresh yet historical. I'd actually display his pottery or wear his designs.
posted by _paegan_ at 2:17 PM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh. So this taught me that apparently as a result of growing up in NM, I interpret any figurate pottery with Pueblo designs as greenware, whether or not that could actually be the case.

I liked the Evolution series. Very alien. Somehow both very much of the traditional designs but also of the 2013 version of the future.
posted by PMdixon at 2:24 PM on November 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I read an interesting beginner book on the Pueblo Revolt a few years ago. I'm utterly fascinated by the interpretation of the history through native eyes; I hope he gets that movie made. And the art is gorgeous.
posted by immlass at 4:29 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Small small world! My late mother and my step-father knew this guy! I've seen his work. Nice! Thanks for posting! I frankly needed some cheering up.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:07 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Exciting work
posted by Nelson at 10:03 PM on November 24, 2013


So he plans to make a fictional adaptation of the story of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt but set in the future incorporating the characters he is introducing in his pottery, thereby capturing the imaginations of the Cochiti and other Pueblo youth and teaching everybody the history. A new kind of elder is Virgil Ortiz. One who makes, as a little sideline, and doubtless sells, $300 silk scarves and couture fabric and styles; has resurrected traditional pottery and added his own vision, and intends to make a movie. He's also setting up an arts center to teach pottery and rounding up the extant nineteenth century Cochita pottery figures so the children can see their artistic heritage at home. FLT, you have done us proud. I like your post and love your links to this man. I think he is great.
posted by Anitanola at 11:45 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is a great set of links! Although this won't get 100s of comments, this is the kind of information that makes MetaFilter great! Thanks!
posted by Slothrop at 4:02 AM on November 25, 2013


Thanks for the post! Starting off this cold monday morning with a bit of homesickness.
posted by fontophilic at 5:33 AM on November 25, 2013


Thanks for the links -

Ironic that one of the main leaders of the 1680 revolt was named Pope (Po-pay).
posted by incandissonance at 7:15 AM on November 25, 2013


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