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Jonah Ortiz


This fall, the René Miville Gallery presents kinetic sculptures by Jonah Ortiz. The show “Giggles & Gears” is a complex blend of high and low-brow pop-media references, coupled with a subtext of analogies to personal stories. Ortiz’s art is grounded in concept and wild in form. It plays on noise and color to create an aesthetic style which offends the senses and challenges the mind.

Only a year ago, artist Jonah Ortiz (37) moved from Chicago to Fort Myers. The exhibition at the René Miville Gallery is his first major show in the area. Using familiar games and toys as rudimentary models, Ortiz aims to bridge the gap between the creativity of childhood, and the reality of adulthood. “The ironic message behind each piece is partially derived from my experience, but the all-inclusive style of my work allows for a unique and very personal interaction – no matter what level of fluency one has in the art world,” the artist says.

Over the last ten years, Jonah Ortiz’s work has traveled through a wide variety of events, catering to viewers outside of what some may consider the “normal” art scene. Ortiz has shown his kinetic sculptures in venues ranging from commercial galleries to a touring show out of the back of a U-Haul. He has hosted experimental shows, assisted in the installation of numerous group projects, built progressive and unique installations for activist related events, and collaborated with other artists, musicians, and poets.

Ortiz’s sculptures are designed to create awareness and dialogue pertaining to how one’s personality and predispositions are formulated during childhood. Jonah Ortiz: “I consider myself to be a blue collar artist. My work is open to a broad range of interpretation.” Operating and interacting with the sculptures, the audience can reflect on the experiences in their own past. And humor becomes a non-threatening gateway to do so.

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