Chris Orta Looks To Expand and Explore On Where He Can Take His Art

When did you get into art?

I think I was five. I remember the exact day. My Dad used to draw and I remember he had a sketchbook. In the sketchbook, he had a drawing of my mom praying and a drawing of some other Mexican stuff. I remember I asked my Dad if I could draw in his sketchbook. My Dad goes, “no”, I then asked again, and he says, “okay fine, don’t draw anything stupid.” I ended up drawing a tank and the crucifixion. I drew the tank because I figured the tank was cool and I drew Jesus on the cross because we are Mexican, we love Jesus, and I knew he wouldn’t say Jesus is stupid.

Did tattooing just feel like the natural transition from drawing for you?

Not at all. I initially never even wanted to tattoo because all I could ever really think about with tattooing was gang tattoos and scratcher shit. Tattooing ended up just coming about when I was at a weird point in life.

Why do you create?

I think I create out of escapism. However, I’ve never really questioned why I do it. I’d say I do it because I just love doing it.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Maybe to stop time. Or, maybe not stopping time, but, everyone else has to stop. If I could just snap my fingers and have everyone freeze in time. That’s what I want

Concept behind Master of Reality – GF/YAB show

That’s my cat. When I started working at the recent tattoo shop is when I started listening to Black Sabbath because I never had been exposed to it beforehand. I grew up with a lot of hip-hop but didn’t really start listening to music until I was 18. When I did the piece for Galerie F, I wanted to do something that revolved around a few things I really enjoyed, which was Black Sabbath, my cat, and everything else I like.


What inspired the SOL piece?

This piece is a sun god. A lot of this piece is up for interpretation. I’m constantly making deities. I have this god creation machine in my head all of the time. Every time I draw a character it’s either gotta be the main protagonist or the end all be all. Like a Galactus.

At that point in my life, I was also going through a period of time where I was being very critical of myself for not making art that looks more Hispanic. I tend to have a lot of Japanese influence within my work. I’m not denying that. But, at the same time, I also want people to know that I also create contemporary Mexican American art. I grew up in a melting pot, I’m it now, and I have multiple influences. By no means am I ever trying to do nothing but Aztec calendars, but at times I like to make work that is reflective of that. It’s how I came up. And so that’s why I created this piece.

Back in 2016, you were talking about starting on digital art, however, it was a slow start. How has the digital work been?

Ehh it’s okay. It’s not my main thing. I like digital but there’s nothing like painting something really big and actually putting skin cells into it. When I paint something in digital format, idk it’s just different. There are too many correction options. I haven’t explored digital as much as I’ve wanted. I mean, I did it with making my stickers and anytime I do things for t-shirts. I want to get into digital more because I want to create posters.

Music helps boost creativity, what is currently on repeat for you?

A lot of SoundCloud mixes. I don’t know what it is, but I love house music. I’ve also been listening to a lot of hip-hop and house mixes. I really dig it. But, on the other side of the spectrum, I’m listening to Black Sabbath, Queens of The Stone Age, and The Crooked Vultures.

On Twitter, a guy described your artwork as “like 60’s sci-fi mixed with fantasy”? How do you feel about that?

I dig it. I don’t know where along the line I started to get really into it, but I’ve been really getting into fantasy and sci-fi. I’ve been slowly drifting into the world of alien and blade runner.

In 2018, can we expect a solo gallery show?

I don’t think so. I’m tired of putting shows together in months. Right now I just want to expand and explore what I’m trying to put on paper and canvas. I want to take my time and make love to this new art I’m creating. I’ll show it some patience, but when I put it out, I want it to hit, and I want it to hit hard. The next show I have won’t be a solo show, it will be with my roommate, but I want this show to be so good that I want people to see the work and not know who we are and have their reaction be like ‘holy fuck’.

When it’s all said and done how would you like to be remembered?

I think if anything I’d like people to want to take something away from my work. That’s really it. I’ve known for a long time that this might not go anywhere in the real world at least, but I’d like my work to impact some people. I know a lot of people and have a lot of friends that are trying to change the world and big ups to them, but I know that I may only be able to affect a small group of people. Maybe 5 people at most and that’s a lot for me. I’d like those people to know that the work is there for them to enjoy or hate, but hopefully one day if they buy my work or bought a print, that they cherish it, and it did something for them.