Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Mauricio Ortiz wins Shelter Competition

A Darwin-inspired illustration of an insect by London-based artist Mauricio Ortiz won Shelter’s House of Cards design competition.

Mauricio's illustration hung alongside the works of top artists including Damien Hirst, Vivienne Westwood and David Bailey.

"Upon recovering from the news I had won the Shelter House of Cards competition, I had to lie down for an hour. Following the auspicious phone call I came to face the terrifying enigma of how to deliver a winning entry that was structurally perfect. The other exhibitors were mostly stars whose work is underpinned by assistants, budget, and facilitators so I thought about seeing John Jones and asking him if he would do it for free in recognition of my long-term custom and my winning entry...(sigh)...but, with no time to lose, I instantly allocated a potential crew for the production of my piece. This meant that whatever money I had set aside for my rent, would go towards framing and towards rent arrears, unfortunately. Deep down, however, what I really wanted was a sublime John Jones montage. (Artists cherish JJ display methods in the same way women obsess about Louboutin.) Still, I was delighted.

A Cinderello theme was developing: I was the author of the winning piece and yet I had no frame for it. Little did I know that, in fact, John Jones' contribution to Shelter would supply my piece with the required physicality. My enigma was solved. A call from Shelter confirmed that not only John Jones would mount it but also that expert Metro Imaging would print it. So I went to the ball in the best frame in town-and kept my flat. (I am a beneficiary of social housing, as a matter of fact.)

But let's go back to the Shelter phone call where the news was conveyed to me. The thing is, the phone call also turned into an impromptu interview. My candid comments would be then passed on to a journalist who would then contact me to settle details. However he didn't feel the need to do so, as he now knew that, at 47, I supplemented my income as a waiter, which perfectly served the tale he chose to portray, omitting, in the process, a 25-year career.

The article, which resulted in the headline "Waiting game finally pays off for Mauricio", METRO, Monday, September 9, 2009, was particularly touching to those who know me and also to those who believe things happen overnight, I suppose. Since then, a lovely new piece appeared in the METRO the day of my birthday "Stars show housing crisis on the Cards", METRO, Friday, September 25, 2009. This time my artistic DNA, clients and collaborators like Jamie Oliver, Robert Plant and Roman Abramovich were acknowledged with a classic balance of irony and humour. The piece in The Independent was great too. The video which appeared on a Korean website http://utube.fdlive.com, the 50,000 entries for the Shelter House of Cards campaign which turned up on Google, and the 60,000 mail-out from www.eyestorm.com to launch my 6 new print editions etc...You see I just wanted the sponsors to see that the random nature of a competition open to the general public could have a life-changing impact on someone with a specific long-term commitment to art and design."

Mauricio Ortiz

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