When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

Search for an Artist on this blog (or cut and paste from the list at the bottom of this page)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Daniel Ochoa

"Night Shift Retrato", 48x36in, mixed media on canvas

"Modelo", 24x18in, oil and mixed media on canvas

"Naufragio with Gold", 36x36in, oil and mixed media on canvas

"El Covered Wagon Study", 18x18in, oil and mixed media on canvas.

"Walking Ciudad Study", 16x16in, oil and mixed media on canvas
Daniel Ochoa's work is primarily figurative. But the strength of his style and ability make forays into other subjects equally arresting. Using masking effects to build up layers of juxtaposed techniques and textures, he creates strangely coherent images that simultaneously seem to embody dissonance. A pretty nifty trick. And here's where his biographical info is interesting. The son of a Mexican immigrant father and a white mother, he grew up in a bi-cultural home. He includes both English and Spanish words in his titles. Thus contrast and comparison is no longer an externalized exercise for him but part of his personal identity. Now biographical details like this are interesting, as I said. They can give the viewer some insight into the artist's motivation and process. But knowing these things does nothing to improve the work itself which much be able to stand on it's own with or without those insights. And Daniel Ochoa's work certainly accomplishes this. Even in the most distorted images the strength of his draftsmanship shines through. And if you doubt me just look at these sketches of statues he did at the Met in New York. There are too many artists out there who use expressive techniques to cover the lack of such skill, but they can never completely succeed. Dramatic and striking technical approaches can and often do come across as gimmicky. But rather than merely being a way to appear edgy or different, Daniel Ochoa's technique clearly flows naturally from his desire to create a particular kind of image, images that evoke the haunting power of Francis Bacon and others.
Check out his website: www.danielochoa.com or better yet browse through his blog (dansworks.blogspot.com) where you'll find plenty more. You can also see more work at Hall Spassov Gallery which is how I found out about this artist.

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