The artist next to some of his works in the exhibition. / ANDREA JIMÉNEZ

An artist influenced by the East

Artist Cristobál Ortega returns to his home town with the exhibition Poemas de piel, two decades after his first exhibition there


Malaga artist Cristobál Ortega brings together the oriental inspiration resulting from ten years he spent in China, in this exhibition in El Portón .

The title of the exhibition, Poemas de piel, pays tribute to Poemas de luz, the artist's first exhibition in his hometown of Alhaurín, twenty years ago.

His technique explores the creative process in which the painting ceases to be merely a supporting element and becomes an inherent part of the work. Thus, the painting and the support are transformed into an indissoluble whole.

"When I went to China I started working with ink and paper. I had always been fascinated to see how they managed to make ink so malleable and thus obtain so many degradations, it is impossible to do it with a normal technique," he says.

The exhibition has been designed for the space and not chronologically. Many of the works have been brought from Beijing, where the artist has been living for the last eleven years.

The paints 'sweat' into the untreated canvas, intermingling and interacting, creating movement and harmony.

"It is a technique that gives a lot of play, and that needs time," commented Ortega, explaining how the oil paint settles differently with the passage of time.

Alongside these works, in a Japanese style room with a tatami floor and decorative folding screens, the artist has hung wooden frames with transparent papers in layers to let through the nebulous light.

These smaller creations are the result of his stay in Alhaurín, where he has been living since last year because of the pandemic. "I have concentrated more on this technique, all the works in this style were created this year".

The exhibition is on display until 20 November.