Ortega: From stage designer to critic
Ortega is also an excellent example of how one can achieve one’s goals via a circuitous route. He actually studied theatrical stage design until noticing that this "felt like a dead end" and switching to history of art. "I already enjoyed writing at university," he says. After completing his studies he sent sample texts to numerous publications. artmagazine recognised his talent and offered him a place for a year on its scholarship programme for young art critics.
"I don’t only write reviews for artmagazine, but also receive feedback. We discuss what I can do better, as a result of which I learn a lot," says Ortega. While he has no concrete role models, he finds inspiration in the New Yorker essayist Susan Sontag. "Her texts are very easy to read, they enable you to understand things holistically on the basis of small details." A beginner’s mistake amongst writers is to want to squeeze too much into a text. But it is precisely this that can make everything intangible and abstract. On the other hand, those who examine a concrete aspect through a magnifying glass and put this in its wider context are likelier to excite their readers.
Writing is looking and translating
What else is important about writing? "Looking precisely", says Ortega, who grew up bilingual – his mother comes from Spain. "Something that at first glance appears to be black can also be dark blue." The next step is to translate this into a language that should also have a certain rhythm. One that is simple and understandable.
If you’re now intrigued and would like to read some criticism by Victor Cos Ortega, here is a link to artmagazine, in which he writes once or twice a month.
His recent article on the exhibition "Sigrid Viir | False Vacationer" at the Christine König Galerie was published in the 190th issue of The Gap.