Born in Madrid, Spain , Aldara Ortega is quite a remarkable artist and photographer.
"Her photography explores the gradual opening of dialogue between formal subjects and an underwater world. Her images invite the viewer to decipher the unique and slow-moving manner with which water can enhance, disturb and elevate a moment in time."
Ironically, her modeling career started after being discovered by an agent while playing tennis at a club in her hometown. So how did she venture off to the wonderful world of Art and Photography?
On October 15, 2014, Maggie Delany had an opportunity to interview Aldara Ortega at the successful launch of her "Liquid Project" at the NHE Gallery, in New York City.
MD: Cheers Aldara, congratulations on a successful launch of your liquid project! Tell us your story, when did you discover your artistic skills?
Aldara: Thank you for the compliment!
Actually, I always had a passion for Art. I started oil painting at the age of 10 and wanted to study Art in college. However, because of my modeling career at that time, my parents thought I should study Fashion Design, so I did.
MD: interesting! How old were you when you were discovered by the agent at the tennis club? Tell us briefly about your modeling career.
I was discovered when I was 18 years old. I loved being a model. I also thought it would be a good way to make money to pay for college. It was very lucrative at first. I loved traveling to participate in different fashion shows. When I moved to Miami, I worked with a modeling agency that kept me very busy with bookings. So that was great.
MD: So when did you decide to stop your modeling career to become a photographer?
Well, when I moved to New York City, I did not get enough modeling jobs to support my apartment and lifestyle. I had to scale down by moving to a much smaller place, I couldn't do my painting there. But the building had a swimming pool. I spent hours swimming, it was my daily escape, very therapeutic. More and more, I became aware of the water patterns and reflection of the light as my body moved in the water. It was fascinating! Every moment was different! Had to be captured instantaneously through photography, not painting!
MD: What has been your primary focus?
My focus has been on capturing women underwater and their solitary connection with the water: The grace, beauty and artistry of the female form connecting with the water
MD: Tell us about your work featured here tonight:
Tonight's showcase my works from the last four years of underwater photography ranging from underwater nudes, to the refraction of light projected onto female bodies and to my abstract series called Liquid Desert, where the refraction of light simulates an underwater desert landscape. I’m also very excited to have included my most recent series that experiments with textiles as an extension of the female body. To me these images are almost like paintings, where reality weaves with the manipulation of colors, lights and shadows into the dream-like liberation of being underwater.
MD: How do you feel about tonight's exhibit: :Liquid Project" here at the NHE Gallery?
I am very happy! Despite the rain, there are so many friends, and family who came out to support me! Thank you to each and everyone.
MD: Have you thought of your next project yet? What can your fans expect from you?
Of course! I’m really interested in capturing couples' connection and interactions underwater along with their synergy. I also look forward to photographing dancers in action. Stay tuned for more information.
Please visit Aldara Ortega's website for more information on her work.
Photo credit: Jonathan Godinez
This article was written by Magdaline Delany for EPN.