Toward of The Sea

Iliana Ortega: Toward the Sea

Although Iliana Ortega grew up in land-locked Mexico City, she has
always loved the sea, and some of her best work follows the complex
rhythms of the ocean. A short while ago, she decided to stay in Hawaii
for an extended period; as a result of this experience, the artist
produced a remarkable body of iridescent watercolors, whose light,
hues, and various densities mimic the sea in wonderful ways.
It is rare to find so much accomplishment within a genre and theme
unusually hard to represent. Somehow, Ortega has found the means
to mimic the play of light underwater, creating a visionary
comprehension of the luminous underworld we meet beneath the
ocean’s surface. In these magical experiments with light and color in
complex interactions, Ortega makes it clear that the luminosity she is
so attracted to is a major subject in its own right, refracted by the
prism of the ocean. In interesting ways, the studies’ focus allows
Ortega to create miniature environments whose effects are
remarkably original. The forms, regularly organic, are suffused with a
luminous intensity that astonishes the artist’s audience with passages
of color, often in blues and greens.

– Jonathan Goodman

Selected Works