Dionis Ortiz

I am an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video and installation. I employ these mediums to create a coming of age story as a Dominican American, exploring masculinity, vulnerability, the supernatural, family, and religion, as well as how culture plays a role in my community and in my life.

My language is based on the culture in the environment and determines the domestic objects I collect in the Harlem community. My installations are an immersive experience where the audience can engage with the sculptures that represents aspirations for wealth, photographs of influential pop culture icons, baroque architectural elements, portrait paintings of my family and collage and assemblage.

My artwork evokes a sense of encounter with new beginnings by picturing my status as a single father and my ongoing family life. As a single father, I feel a sense of responsibility towards my son to foster a connection to a Caribbean experience through language, music and art. By working under the question of “what is my culture?” I investigate my traditional aesthetical values to reveal the not-so-defined complications of being Dominican American. I address issues of colorism, pride in being of African descent and how pop culture influences our aesthetic.

Many of my creative works in sculpture, painting, and drawing  end up as components in my installations. I often explore other activities like drawing, sculpting, painting and collecting culturally loaded readymades by placing these inventive elements in installations that create fictional domestic environments. My installations create an ensemble of elements that contextualize all my creative activities in terms of my life experience. I have especially worked through Duchampian readymades or surrealist found object practices to embody my work about my past and my community. My goals only partly coincide with those of Duchamp and the Surrealists, but their ideas have opened up a language for me that is especially suited to my commitment to reflecting on my childhood environment.

Born in 1979, New York, NY
Lives and works in New York

EDUCATION

2018 MFA, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY 2001 BFA, Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2018 Teaching Artist at Dedalus Foundation, Brooklyn, NY. Teach mask making workshops to students ranging from eight to twelve.
2017 Teaching Artist at Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sitka, AK. Teach self portrait, landscape painting and painting workshops.
2016 – 2017: Volunteer Teaching Artist at P.S. 210, New York, NY. Teach drawing and collage making workshops based on stories to students ranging from age four to seven.

AWARDS, FELLOWSHIPS AND HONORS

2018 The Laundromat Project, Create Change Fellowship, New York, NY
2017 Kossak Travel Grant, Hunter College, New York, NY
2014 Summer Ink Scholarship, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York, NY
2014 Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) Program, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY 2013 Studio Immersion Project, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, NY 2011 NYFA Artists As Entrepreneurs Boot Camp, Brooklyn, NY

2011 Individual Artist Grant, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, New York, NY
2010 Individual Artist Grant, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, New York, NY
2009 Harlem Community Arts Fund, Harlem Arts Alliance, New York, NY
2008 Artist in Residence Studio Program, Chashama Art Foundation, New York, NY

PUBLIC ART PROJECT S
2011 Harlem River Park Fund, New York, NY
2009 Heineken Mural Art Program, Heineken, White Plains, NY

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2011 Torn Asunder, Heath Gallery, New York, NY
2007 Migration, Columbia University, Russ Berrie Medical Pavilion, Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building, New York, NY

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018
International Independent Art Fair, New York, NY
After the Flypaper: Life In Harlem In Images and Words, While We Are Still Here, New York, NY

2017 Associated Presents: Appear Here at Bretheren Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 2017 Hunter MFA Thesis, Group 2, Hunter College, New York, NY

2014
Studio Immersion Project, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, NY Blackburn Exchange Show, The Ink Shop Printmaking Center, Ithaca, NY
Social In Practice, Nathan Cummings Foundation & NYU Tisch Galleries, New York, NY. Curated by Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas [March–November] Bronx Speaks No Boundaries, Bronx Arts Alliance, Bronx, NY
Aspirations, LPD Brooklyn Arts Foundation, New York, NY
Visual Aids Postcards From The Edge, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY
The March, The Arsenal Gallery, New York, NY

2013 Members Group Show, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, NY

2012
The Small Works Show, Columbia University, New York, NY Itsa small, small world, Family Business, New York, NY

2010
Uptown Arts Stroll, NoMAA, New York, NY
Emerged, Gallery at Theatre for the New City, NY
Winter Show 2010 An Inter-disciplinary Group Show, Workspace Harlem Studio, NY

2009
Cornerstone, Workspace Harlem Studio, New York, NY
Hispanic Heritage Month Festival Celebration, Riverbank State Park, New York, NY Aqui, NoMAA Gallery, New York, NY
Nude, Temple M / Al Johnson Art Inc, New York, NY
Pulse, Taller Boricua, New York, NY
The Artists in BankStreet’s Backyard, Bank Street College, New York, NY

2008
Confluence: Artists Across the Hudson Divide, Oualie Arts / IFA, Orange, NJ Chashama Open Studio Exhibition, Chashama Art Foundation, New York, NY Hispanic Heritage Month Festival Celebration, Riverbank State Park, New York, NY Evolution: The Changing Face of Harlem, artHarlem, New York, NY
Uncommon Festival @ Public Assembly, Nolej Records, New York, NY

2007
Hispanic Heritage Month Festival Celebration, Riverbank State Park, New York, NY Arte Con Color Latino, Picture that LLC, Connecticut, NY
Formation, IFA / Columbia University, New York, NY

2006

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Unbridled, Inspiration Fine Art, New York, NY
Harlem Open Studio / Gallery Tour, Inspiration Fine Art, New York, NY “Celebration Of Summer”, Inspiration Fine Art, New York, NY
Faces & Places, Inspiration Fine Art, New York, NY

2005
Night Of A Thousand Drawings, Artists Space, New York, NY
New Roots, Inspiration Fine Art, New York, NY
Harlem Open Studio / Gallery Tour, Hamilton Landmark Gallery, New York, NY

2003 The Changing Same, Artists in Harlem, Triple Candie Gallery, New York, NY

COLLECTIONS

2013 United Way of New York City, New York, NY

PUBLICATIONS

2009 Brooklyn Review Literary Journal, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY

PRESS

2009
El Diario La Prensa Defining Trends Magazine

2008 New York Times http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/art-show-examines-harlem-gentrification