Introspective - a Journey of Understanding by Sonia Ortega
September 1st - October 6th, 2023
“Telling stories through a chaotic sea of dots and doodles” is how Sonia Solana Ortega describes her work on social media. Although it may seem chaotic to her, the artwork has the overall appearance of precision and control. Ortega’s work is comprised of mesmerizing compositions of circles, spirals and biomorphic shapes made up of tiny dot and curvilinear, almost paisley-like, patterns. From a distance, the patterns appear to have a raised texture, almost like a rich upholstery fabric. Her color palette is often limited to only 2-3 colors, mainly black and white with an occasional pop of color or metallic leaf. The tiny dots and doodles draw the viewer in close to the artwork to understand how it’s done. Symbolism associated with the circle, like the perpetual cycle of time, symmetry, perfection and wholeness, resonate strongly with the artist. At first, Ortega’s work may seem to be purely ‘Art for Art’s sake,” however, personal stories can be sensed through her designs.
The artist explains, “My work is heavily influenced by the way Indonesian artisans weave stories through organic shapes and free forms, precise details and often freehanded. My technique of free handing details onto various mediums allows for my viewers to be transfixed and transformed. As an artist I strive to make sure I leave a sense of discovery with my viewers, a style of art that they have never seen before based on a story or idea that is familiar.” Introspective is a collection of work from Ortega’s reflections on her childhood and the memories that shape her. Ortega was born to two parents of Mexican and Cuban descent but spent her entire childhood in Indonesia. She often struggled with feeling like she did not belong to one specific culture or place. This body of work is a look at loss and acknowledging the wounds now turned scars. The artist has learned to face an identity crisis, accept that she doesn’t fit in a mold, and love herself for the beautiful flaws. Introspective is a journey of understanding and freely telling her creative story.