ALDARA ORTEGA

Aldara Ortega uses photography to capture instantaneous moments of motion. Her vivid, color-saturated images express freedom and calm simultaneously, focusing on the movement of the human form as it interacts with an underwater environment. A self-taught photographer and mixed media artist, Ortega merges her own reflective experiences with those of her subjects, creating stunningly harmonious and light-filled works.
Ortega first explored the effects of underwater photography after moving to New York in 2009. Finding escape from urban life in the depths of pools, Ortega began examining the aesthetic patterns of light refracting in water and off of the human body. She began cultivating her technical skills in both photography and post-production, building off of her background in painting to achieve maximum color and shadow effects.
Her photographs communicate the transformational experience of being submerged in water, achieving an almost meditative state for subject and viewer alike. There is an inherent energy and joy borne of the natural characteristics of water that is only enhanced by the extension of arms, textiles, and shadows that Ortega is able to capture.
In addition to her underwater portrait series, Agua  Viva, Ortega also examines the characteristics of water. Her series, Liquid Desert, examines the refractions of light that create submerged desert landscapes. Additional series, such as Refractions and Reflections, encapsulate Ortega’s desire for reflection: whether through the literal image, or through a mental mindset that is manifest in shadow.
Ortega was born in Madrid, Spain, and attended Fashion Design Superior Center to attain a degree in fashion design. She has had solo and group exhibitions all over the world, including in New York, Miami, Boston, California, the United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Shanghai. Her work is collected in both public and private collections in New York and internationally.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT
The main focus of my art has been to express the beauty of unfettered freedom and joy that I experience while being in water. Through my artwork, I aim to give a visual form to this magical light-infused world where muted sound, a sense of weightlessness, and mesmerizing light, take me to an energized meditative state.
I seek to capture the patterns of light as they are projected onto the body and the environment, the refractions taking a life of their own to create a dance between light and a woman’s body.

Born in Spain. Lives and works in between New York and Miami.

FREEDOM IN CONFINEMENT

We’re all being stretched. Pulled in different directions beyond the life defined by our comfort zones. Being asked to flow like water, which has no shape except for the container it is in. Our container, our limiting beliefs, the structures we’ve known, are all beginning to break. When we realize we are no longer held in by these, we realize we’ve always been as expansive as the infinite space around us.I am infinite. You are infinite. We are infinite.

The concept of this photo series explores the ideas of freedom in confinement. As we have all been confined to our homes during the global pandemic, we have been forced to find ways to occupy our time. As time has passed, for some it has been quick, for some it has been slow, and for others, it has stood still. No matter how time has passed for all of us, we have all become more flexible in how we perceive what time does for us, and how we express ourselves within that time frame. Within confinement, we can find what our true priorities are, who we relate to, who is close to us, who cares for us. We seek for the connections that fulfill us most, and we learn that it’s ok to let go of the connections that do not serve us. The message I want to deliver is that even within confinement, we have the space to learn to be truly happy.
​In the world we currently live in, there is much fear about the unknown. Confinement has forced us to confront our biggest worries and anxieties with no chance of distraction. Facing and acknowledging those fears over and over again, makes us recognize the space where they are being harvested.
Can we stop entertaining and feeding the fear? Are we capable of not judging, opening ourselves up for new agreements where new possibilities can arise to achieve freedom.

AGUA VIVA

Agua Viva, literally translates to "Water Alive". This body of work speaks to the transformation that happens underwater and how even inanimate objects, such as fabric, can harness this power and come alive. I introduced an aerial silk performer to my underwater world and began to experiment with the effects of water on the acrobatic movement of the body and fabric. The buoyancy of the water counters the gravitational pull that normally weighs down these elements, as they dance in air. In the underwater environment everything has a different weight, rate of motion, and fluidity. It is almost as if the life of the liquid is transferred to the artist and the fabrics.

ERETREA

Etérea is a journey that invites the viewer to observe the female energy and enjoy a magical aspect of its reality. The concept of this series focuses on connection, a deep sense of love and belonging is an intrinsic need of all humans. We are biologically, cognitively and spiritually wired to love, to be loved and belong. With trust we learn to connect to ourselves and to others. It is through those connections that meaningful and sincere exchanges occur. Miss Ortega explores the interaction of the underwater world and how freely we connect within the fluidity of its embrace. Holistika is a special spiritual place that inspires art and connectivity for effortless creativity. The photographic exhibition “Etérea” was created on its very grounds, in synchronicity of wonderful people that cross paths in this vortex, surrounded by the lush jungle. “Eteréa” is an immersive installation connected to the environment, to nature, complementing the extraordinary backdrop of Tulum’s beautiful jungle.

WHEN YOU WERE NOT LOOKING

"When you were not looking" focuses on the interaction between the naked body and water. What intrigued me the most about this work, was the relationship that the subject appeared to develop with the water. In her most vulnerable state, the subject was entirely embraced by her liquid environment. There is a sense of intimacy, that is almost palpable in each piece, that speaks to a silent and secret dialogue that the body shares with the water. The viewer is left feeling almost voyeuristic, as they witness this secret exchange.

WHO WOULD YOU RATHER BE

"When you were not looking" focuses on the interaction between the naked body and water. What intrigued me the most about this work, was the relationship that the subject appeared to develop with the water. In her most vulnerable state, the subject was entirely embraced by her liquid environment. There is a sense of intimacy, that is almost palpable in each piece, that speaks to a silent and secret dialogue that the body shares with the water. The viewer is left feeling almost voyeuristic, as they witness this secret exchange.

REFRACTION - ROSITA - APPOLO

Mesmerized by the effects of light traveling through water, this imagery is an exploration of refracted light on underwater bodies.

New York, NY, USA

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©2019-2021 BY GALERIE L'ATELIER. ALL IMAGES ALL RIGHTS RESERVED