Damian Ortega

Maybe if I study the work of Damian Ortega closely enough, I won’t look as dumbfounded the next time I go to change my oil and am told “The seal on your left wheel bearing is cracked, probably because the caliper is partially seized and causing excess dust from your brake pads because your rotors are warped.” I don’t know what this means, but in English it translates to something like “you will soon find yourself poor.”

If you live on the east coast, you may have seen Ortega’s work at the ICA not too long ago, in an exhibition titled Do It Yourself, or if you lived in LA five years ago you may have seen his work at MOCA. Of course, there are other artists whose work features exploding cars, like Cai Guo-Qiang and Jeremy Deller, but they won’t help you have a conversation with a mechanic.


July 28, 2010