Roger Ourthiague Jr. was born and raised in California’s East Bay Area, later receiving his BFA in Pictorial Art from San Jose State University. He recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Ourthiague has shown work regionally at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library and Kala Art Institute and internationally in Oaxaca, MX. He has been the recipient of several awards and grants, including Recology SF Student Artist in Residence (2016).
I am an interdisciplinary, project-based artist working in print media, drawing, animation, video, and installation. For all the variety within my practice, sketchbook writing/drawing is the core of my process. Recurring symbols of teeth, tongues, vermin, birds, goats, and cats are echoed across media as signifiers of consumption and primal urges. These symbols continue in my printmaking and installation work where I emphasize dissemination and surreal narratives.
Many types of art explorations reflect my indulgent intake of popular culture and mass media. I stack cartoons, news coverage, contemporary art, and Kardashians in the same headspace without moderation. With my overconsumption of media, I find hordes of detritus, advertising onslaughts, and seas of glowing screens—combined with the go-go-go impetus to maneuver through it all—aesthetically and emotionally appealing. I then distill layers of messaging into moments of humor, using small bursts of text to mediate complexity.