Arroba de los Montes, ES
Spanish artist, Ortega (1921-1990) was an intimate friend of Pablo Picasso. Born in Arroba de los Montes, in 1921, the painter was one of the main proponents of the Spanish social realism: an art movement that drew attention to the socio-political conditions of the working class. Ortega’s social commitment dates back to 1934, when he was thirteen-year-old and decided to move to Madrid. In the Spanish capital, the young artist started to frequent anti-Francoist circles and, simultaneously, to create his first paintings. His strong political stance caused him a lot of troubles, above all the incarceration and the exile. Ortega, fortunately, found refuge first in France and then in Italy. He had the opportunity to continue his artistic production and exhibited his works in Philadelphia, Toronto, Turin and Bruxelles. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) influenced the work of various artist. Ortega devoted himself to the narration of that particular period and, in 1971, made the sixty engravings of the Ortega±Dürer series, in which he recalled the civil war situation. The artistic cycle was shown in Nuremberg and Milan. Ortega was one of the first to propose a symbolic graphic language both aesthetically admirable and metaphorically meaningful. This kind of approach has been reflected in modern satire and contemporary graphic design. For this reason, it is restrictive to mention only Ortega’s political dedication. His art is a socially and iconographically worthy. During the second postwar period, Ortega became a role model in graphic illustrations, next to his master Friedlander, Mirò, and Picasso. Salvador Dalì, in fact, used to create his graphic works in the Ortega’s Parisian studio.