‘Inevitable’ new exhibit an amalgamation of local talent

Randy Ortiz talks about Invasive Species

“northmesopotamianziggurattackleboxframecadillacmetal” by Ben Bonner and Andrew Lodwick.

“Expect unreasonably elaborate and needlessly complicated illustrations with very recondite visual storytelling,” local artist Randy Ortiz says of Invasive Species, an upcoming art exhibit featuring his work along with Ben Bonner’s and Andrew Lodwick’s.

Ortiz has designed everything from gig posters to album covers for bands in the music scene. A self-taught artists with six years of freelance illustration experience under his belt, his portion of the exhibit will consist of his newest obsession – screen printing.

“It’s very refreshing to have a new technique to add to my repertoire,” Ortiz says. “Even though I’ve only recently started, I find myself addicted to it.”

As for the other talent on the table, Ben Bonner and Andrew Lodwick have resumes just as impressive.

Andrew Lodwick, an illustrator and the senior studio technician at Martha Street Studio is, as Ortiz puts it, “the screen printing guru of Winnipeg.”

“If you know anyone in the city that screen prints, they more than likely have been taught by Andrew. I want to be him when I grow up. He’s got a nice beard, too.”

Also an illustrator, Ben Bonner is the next of the artists that will be featured in the exhibit. His illustrations and his intricate sculptures are a testament to his skill.

It’s very refreshing to have a new technique to add to my repertoire. Even though I’ve only recently started, I find myself addicted to screen printing.

Randy Ortiz, artist

“Everything that I’ve ever seen him do is absolutely jaw-dropping,” Ortiz says. “It’s so difficult for artists to find that unique style, and Ben definitely nails that.”

Of the collaboration, Ortiz divulges that an art exhibit between the three of them “was inevitable” and “a long time coming.”

“The three of us are very picky, scrupulous and borderline obsessive about what we put out there,” Ortiz says. “It’s a culmination of everything we’ve worked hard on to try to perfect, put on display for all to see.”

The talent and skill between this creative trio is undeniable, but it’s their humour and genuine admiration for each other’s work that takes Invasive Species to the next level.

“Take a look at the work [Ben Bonner has] done for local band Electro Quarterstaff and I dare you to tell me that you’re not blown away,” Ortiz says

Invasive Species opens at the Edge Gallery (611 Main St.) on Friday, June 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The exhibit is on display until Thursday, June 23, weekdays from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Visit www.damnthedesign.com.

Published in Volume 65, Number 26 of The Uniter (June 2, 2011)

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