One to Watch: Gustavo Ortiz


Gustavo Ortiz is a rising star from Argentina. He grew up in Patagonia and studied art at La Pampa University, before moving to London in 2007. He has been regularly exhibiting his work in solo shows, group exhibitions and arts fairs in Argentina, the UK, Sweden and France. His work is influenced by colonial art and native indigenous artistic practices, and draws on both European traditions and Latin culture.

Working with patterns and a bold color palette, he creates vivid collages that combine Naive art with Surrealism, each bursting with a childlike sense of wonder. The themes in his works, which feature animals, disproportionate figures, and objects placed firmly against flat backgrounds, are derived from Latin American myths and legends. His considerable exhibition history in Europe and Argentina mark him as an exciting artist to consider collecting.

image 3Art from the ‘100 ways that I see myself’ exhibition (2014 – Pure Evil Gallery).

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
My inspiration comes from the myths and legends of different native South American cultures. I am also inspired from traditional textile designs. Since I moved to London, my practice has become more personal; I still draw inspiration from my culture, but now I am exploring who I am, more so than where I come from.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I work next to a very busy road, so I need to drown the noise with some music.

image 4Art from the ‘100 ways that I see myself’ exhibition (2014 – Pure Evil Gallery).

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Someone once said, “When there is nothing for you, always create your own opportunities.” I don’t know if it translates very well, but at the time, it made a lot of sense to me. I was living in a small town where there were no spaces dedicated to art. I knew some people at a new art school who were equally hungry to have a space to show what we were all collectively doing, so we started to organize our own exhibitions. Everything is very different now, but we still feel a sense of pride that we were able to initiate a curiosity for art in that community.

image 5Gustavo at the ‘forgotten people’ exhibition (2011 – Pure Evil Gallery).

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I would be very happy to have Olafur Eliasson’s “The Weather Project,” especially to have a space as big as the Turbine Hall in order to accommodate a piece of that size.

Who are your favorite writers?
My favorite writers are Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa–in that order.


  1. Lia Porto says:

    Genial!! Que buen trabajo!!!

  2. I LOVE your people paintings they are fantastic. Very unique, awesome colours and just fabulous. All the best cheers from Kate*

  3. Thanks for the feature, I really appreciate the efforts to promote my work, a little amendment, the 4th photo was taken in one edition of the affordable art fair where I was with Olivia Connelly Gallery.

  4. interesting, love colors. congrats

  5. pure evil says:

    Yeah Gustavo ! we love your work ! It just keeps evolving and getting better and better.. His work is sublime, I love the amount of detail he puts into every artwork, and the world within a world he creates.

  6. Extremely vibrant colourations,patterning and rich textures….that identiies a
    rich tapestry of the artists South American experiences…..I am more than fascinated…I love them all…Good luck and best wishes for a great future

  7. Great to see these works featured here! I love the use of colours/textures to create such unique artworks. Really interesting artist.

  8. Anna Manalo says:

    Gustavo –

    I love your work! Where is your next exhibit??


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