1. Who are you and what do you do?
Larry Ortega, is the commercial real estate broker-developer-entrepenuer with commercial real estate firm Colliers International. An Obliq Artist is a name I adopted as my artistic voice and came about after opening Obliq Art in 2012 with my wife. I brought my artistic skill to real estate and consider it another media that I get to play with. It takes longer but is more cerebral to create a project.
2. How did you get your start?
I started very young in the business world, I was 14 when my brothers and I were selling picture frames and art at the flea markets around the OC area in So Cal. I also worked with my brother shaping surfboards and fiber glassing-and of course surfing. All the while selling clothing or art at the flea markets on the weekend. I studied art at Cal State Fullerton and met my wife there-she a ceramic/sculpture major and me a drawing and painting major. We lived in a music and art colony known as Sleepy Hollow while finishing school at the university.
We moved to Hawaii with our newborn to pursue a surfing lifestyle, while supporting my family as an artist. Lots of my work was silk screening and airbrush work on clothing, glass and a lot of other media. My art studio overlooked Ala Moana beach park. We lived on the north shore of Oahu in some incredible settings on the ocean and in the mountains. The studio grew into a design firm and what I would describe as a “makers” wood workers, surfboard shop, stained glass, silk screeners just about everything. We spent 5 years in Hawaii when I made a decision to move back to the mainland and did not want to move back to SoCal so I took a leap of faith moving to Phoenix in 1980.
I wanted to get into real estate in 1980 but it was difficult. I worked in an art gallery/custom frame shop during the day, ran a 4 color press at night and in my spare time, went to school to get my RE [Real Estate] license.
3. What inspires you?
The spirituality of nature.
4. What do you like about Arizona?
I love the desert, the long vacant vistas where land meets sky and the color of the sky at dusk. I live in a canyon overlooking the twinkling lights of downtown Phoenix and nestled between desert mountains. It is very quiet.
5. Where can we see you(r) work?
My current show is entitled Myopia, a name that my wife coined. I created the exhibit as a sculpture show in the New City Studios at 1300 N. Central Ave. It’s up for the month of March with the next formal opening is Art Detour weekend. I continue to market our gallery openings using Obliq Art as we have a large social media following.
I am showing several large pieces at the Myopia show. “Lost Memories” is a 7’ Sycamore slab that was” termite infested, crooked, twisted and weathered in the Arizona desert sun. A perfect piece to restore and reclaim. Lives are like that.
My chosen media is Wood-Resin-Steel & Light. [See here.]
6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I have been working downtown since the 80’s and have seen the downtown area “flourish”. I want to build community downtown through my art and influence. I have sold multiple commercial properties in the downtown that have been re-purposed into new business endeavors and will continue with that. I will also be creating new pop up gallery venues in real estate that I am involved in.
7. What’s your mantra?
Food-Fashion-Music & Art is my mantra for downtown business.