interview by : Dahlia Jane
San Francisco artist Karla Ortiz is not breaking down barriers between the worlds of commercial and fine art; she’s not even aware that they exist. Seeming equally comfortable working as a commercial concept artist for prominent companies such as Industrial Light & Magic and Wizards of the Coast as creating personal pieces to show in fine art galleries, Ortiz strives to create a sense of wonder and magic in all of her work. She also discounts boundaries between fantasy genre art and realistic portraiture. The bulk of her art depicts human beings rather than creatures. Yet there’s a theatrical other-worldliness and savagery to her characters. Ortiz does not even subscribe to the traditional gender roles assigned to female characters in fantasy art. Neither highly sexual nor weak, Ortiz paints complex women with rich back-stories. Though she embodies the rare professional contemporary artist in her adaptability and use of both digital and traditional art mediums, Ortiz draws from timeless archetypal wells. Her use of shading and lines are not unlike Renaissance artists. Only 28 years old, Ortiz has achieved a remarkable amount. Her show Iluso opened in the Project Room at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California on February 1st and we talked with her just before its opening.
read the full interview in the February/March 2014 Issue