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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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More About Ran Ortner, 1st place

Artist bio: Ran Ortner was born in 1959 in San Francisco. He studied art privately in Canada and the United Kingdom. His conceptual sculptures and his paintings have been exhibited in Washington, North Carolina, California, New York, Belgium and Germany. In 2004-2005, Ran was a lecturer at the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten in Belgium. Currently his work is in a traveling exhibition, “Falling Short of Knowing” which opened in New York and will appear in Singapore in February 2009 and Moscow in April 2009.

Artist statement: Ran Ortner’s background as a professional motorcycle racer influenced his interest in art. Drawn to the physicality and energy of motorcycle racing, Ortner later transferred this dynamism into his approach to painting. With a complete engagement of body and mind a performance or dance emerged. For Ran, his body serves as a reference point when painting. As he describes, the arc of movement, the range of movement, up and off the ladder, back, that moving in and out while I am painting feels like dance. It is a different kind of intimacy to have with something. Reading a book or something that’s scaled to be held, you can get a quality of tenderness, but something on a larger scale you are forced to deal with the immediate visceral aspects of it. I think that quality can be particularly enlivening because you feel you’re exhausted and you’re touched by this process.

Art form: 2-D

Medium: Oil on canvas

Year created: 2009

Description of work: oil on canvas 70 x 228 inches


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