Aldara Ortega was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. She received her degree in fashion design from the Centro Superior de Diseño de Moda de Madrid (CSDDM) and has worked in the fashion industry in various creative capacities for over a decade.
Her continuing interest in the female form, represented in her photography and other artwork, comes from her fashion background designing clothing for women.
Aldara has found photography and its wide range of technical possibilities to be a perfect vehicle for her artistic experimentation and self-expression. For her current investigations focusing on water, her creative process involves photographing her underwater subjects and then digitally manipulating the image in order to highlight the patterns of light and express the sensation of water moving around her submerged female figures. Finally, Aldara adds pigments and effects to her image to further heighten its expressive power, at times even coating her prints with resin to give their surfaces a smooth, almost watery texture.
Aldara Ortega’s photography aims to capture the essence of the underwater world and submerge us in her vision that accentuates the refracting and reflecting tendency of water when it veer towards abstraction.
“The main focus of my art has been to express the beauty and joy of unfettered freedom and movement. My interest in water stems from the paradox that this element is indispensable to our existence and survival and yet we can only remain submerged in it for short periods of time without risking our lives. Thus, it is only for a few precious moments as we hold our breath underwater that we might appreciate the serene beauty of this alternate world and experience the ineffable joy of being in it. It is this moment, this transcendent yet fleeting sensation of being submerged in this magical underwater realm, that I explore in my art.
“In my recent photography and mixed media work I seek to make visible the almost mystical sensation of the human body moving harmoniously through the water. I use color to capture the currents and flows generated around female figures as they move through the water, and to give tangible form to the sensation of being enveloped by the water. In some works, I employ muted colors to represent a body gliding through and undulating harmoniously with the water, while in others vibrant hues and more energetic brushwork reflects a more dynamic, even turbulent encounter of figure and fluid. By digitally inserting images of water into the silhouettes of female forms, the boundary between women and water often becomes blurred, as the graceful contours and undulating movements of both become distilled into a harmonious dance of light, shadow and sinuous forms—an ultimate expression of the concept “somos agua”: “we are made of water.”
“I am also fascinated by the tranquil beauty of sunlight as experienced underwater: the enchanting radiance of sunshine viewed from beneath the surface, the ethereal splendor of rays of light filtering through the water and the hypnotic play of light on sun-dappled skin. My photographic work often seeks to capture that moment when the dazzling reflections and refractions of light under water veers toward abstraction, revealing a dreamlike world that is created as spatial hues dissolve and body, water and sky commingle. Across a range of media and techniques, my artwork collectively aims to give visual form to this magical, light-infused world, and to the freedom and joy I experience when submerged beneath the surface of the water.”
-Exhibition for Majestic Creations, February 25 of 2013, 15 West 28th street, 8th floor, New York, NY.
-Refractions, solo exhibition, December 2012, Space 108, Midtown Art District, Miami.
-Motion online exhibition, November 2012, Linus Gallery.
-Bits an Pices, November 19 2012, Linus Gallery, Pasadena, California.
-Water’s Edge online exhibition, September 2012, Linus Gallery.
-Group show Location 05, August 27 of 2012, New York, NY.
-Exhibition in Zeal, July 24 of 2012, 6F Bund 22 Zhongshan Dong Er Lu, Shanghai.
-Exhibition for MOD’ART International, July 17 of 2012, Shanghai International Fashion Center, 2866 Yangshupu Lu (Zhoujiazui Lu 杨树浦路2866号, 近周家嘴路), Shanghai.
-Annual Wagmag exhibition, 2012, The Boiler Gallery, Williamsburg, NY.
-Summer group show, 2012, Lazypoint, Amagansett, NY.
-Exhibition Quartier Salon, 2012, Brooklyn, NY.
-Group exhibition, 20 Bond, 2009, New York, NY.