Ortiz, Emilio – Mexico

1936-1989 | Latin American Art


Mexican painter, engraver and sculptor. His training concentrated on engraving in the workshop of Silva Santamaría, alongside other artists like Francisco Toledo, after which he developed in a self-taught way.

He was later to receive scholarships to continue his training in engraving in Paris, London and the United States.

From a young age he was interested in cinema, psychoanalytic literature, surrealism and Mexican popular art. All of these sources fuelled his taste for the fantastic.

Emilio Ortiz was part of the Breakaway Generation, along with his contemporaries such as Francisco Toledo, Roger von Gunten, Arnold Belkin and Alberto Gironella.



Emilio Ortiz worked with etching in particular within the field of graphic art. In his pictorial work, the artist transferred the artistic qualities of engraving to painting through the line, preciosity in drawing, and the effects of materiality on surfaces.

His language is figurative, although not realistic. In his works he includes imaginary beings, in which half-human, half-animal anthropomorphic beings loaded with symbolism have a strong presence. The way he composes his work, which is far from the norm, also catches our attention. This results in scenes that are enigmatic or lead to a feeling of alienation in the viewer.

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