Adalberto Ortiz

I’ve been asked how my ideas and compositions in my abstract work originate. My paintings, obviously, do not spring whole from my mind. In order to generate ideas, I rely on many elements from various sources. Many of these elements, geometric shapes, lines, and textures, are derived from my deconstructed architectural and theatrical computer-modeled sets that I’ve created commercially over the years in my other life as a designer. The computer process allows me to arrange these forms, focus light on them, and apply color in order to explore different possibilities. I see images, scenes suggested by the abstract arrangements, that I bring out and develop. By exploring the model from different angles, I can create numerous compositions. Most of my abstract paintings are developed in this way. Once I have all my elements realized on the screen, I can start painting on canvas. The painting process itself adds another dimension to the work. Accidental drips, brush strokes, and layering of paint enrich the work in tactile ways.

I try to give my paintings multiple dimensions so that they reveal something new every time you look at them. They should work on different levels and communicate through both the intellect and the senses.

I paint both abstract and natural subjects. Many of my architectural paintings are of gritty, desolate industrial settings depicted in warm, bright decorative colors with an occasional dab of fluorescent hue. The contrast of subject and treatment gives the painting strength and interest. For me, these paintings are really about colors, lines, and shapes created by shadows and light. I see them as abstract paintings. They don’t represent any real place or locale. In a way, they are similar in feel and purpose to my abstract work. I can envision these representational paintings exhibited side by side with my abstract pieces.

Adalberto Ortiz lives and works in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He has had a varied career as a set designer working in theatre and TV, as an art director, and as a graphic designer. He has continuously produced fine art, work both as a painter and a skilled 3d computer modeler, often merging these skills with his fine artwork.

Adalberto was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in New York City. He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, majored in art at The City University of New York, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre design from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He has taught scenic design at Seton Hill University in Greensburg and at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, both in Pennsylvania.

His current work falls into two areas: paintings of architectural subjects and abstract works with no apparent central subjects. He paints primarily with acrylics on board or canvas, and often uses tape for masking.

Most of his architectural paintings are of lone, quiet, isolated structures. These paintings are about shapes and surface textures created by light and shadows. The buildings are often arranged in simple formal compositions. While representational, they are created as flat abstract shapes that imply depth and distance through line and color. Muted hues, with occasional bright vivid accents, give the paintings an impressionist feel. You can see the influence of Ortiz’s previous graphic, theatrical, and commercial set design work in many of his paintings.

The artist’s abstract acrylic paintings are composed of hard edge, geometric, and textured elements. These angular, contrasting shapes are arranged in bold dynamic compositions and often depict different styles in a single painting: smooth gradations, loose brush strokes, and realistic areas.They reference ideas and subjects that evoke unconscious emotions and themes that are not immediately obvious.

Collectors in New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States have purchased his paintings.