Virgil Ortiz is an artist from the Cochiti Pueblo in what is now Northern New Mexico. The people of the Cochiti Pueblo are part of a long tradition and history of American Indian potters. Their specific graphic, polychrome style has developed over 300 hundred years with strong influences from neighboring tribes. Growing up in this tradition, Ortiz began working in clay as a small child, only to realize as a teenager that the craft he was so familiar with was, by many, considered art. At this point his unique style emerged and took him in a more personal direction. I am a huge fan of traditional pottery from the native cultures of New Mexico. The boldness, geometry, and juxtaposing complexity and simplicity of the designs are just so spectacular. Ortiz's figurative style, which is blatantly sexual in nature, is like a shot of testosterone in these pots- elevating them from a level of kick-ass to complete-annihilation. To view more of the artist's work including sculptural pieces, visit his website.
(images via Ceramic Arts Foundation and Clark+DelVecchio)