Model-Turned-Artist Aldara Ortega is Blowing Photography Out of the WaterBy Candace Kita | October 6, 2014
“I had gone from getting a lot of modeling work in Miami to a new agency in New York that wasn’t even sending me out at all. I could no longer afford the place that I had been both living and painting in, so I had to sublet my friend’s living room for a while. I wasn’t working and I couldn’t really do my painting there, so my only solace was that the building had a swimming pool. I would swim for hours a day basically as an escape from my problems”, Aldara explains. “I loved the freeing feeling I had in the water, how my body moved and then I became even more fascinated by how the light reflected in the water. It wasn’t something that could truly be emulated in paint, so I turned to the camera.”
She would spend the next four years combining her modeling and fashion experience to capture the artistry of the female form, and turn her passion for paint to the unlimited technical possibilities of modern photography. It has proven to be the magical formula for the signature photography she’s quickly becoming known for and what people will have the opportunity to see large scale and up close at the October 15th NH3 Gallery opening.
“I will be showing 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 include 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,” Aldara explains.
Aldara also admits that her new passion for underwater photography can certainly be challenging to pursue living in a place like New York City and while this has inspired her to start her other recent series of “ground work”, photographing dancers in action, Aldara says she still has a lot more ground to cover under the water. “I have been focusing on women underwater and their solitary connection with the water, now I’m really interested in capturing couples underwater and their connection with the water and their connection with each other and how it all interacts all at once,” she explains.
Aldara Ortega believes that when you’ve found your calling, there is always a way to make it happen no matter how impossible it seems and she has definitely found her “way”.
To find out more about Aldara Ortega and her work go directly to her website.
For information about the “Liquid Project” solo exhibit opening at the NH3 Gallery October 15th, click here.