The Street is the biggest art gallery – Ortaku

by Alina Luiza, 13 June 2018

In times when artificial intelligence is slowly taking over our lives in so many ways, ART stands as one of the main HUMAN differentiators ( Ortaku ). Street Art is ART in its purest form. It is genuine, courageous, mysterious and available to anyone who has an eye for it. It is ART that can be (and usually is) easily destroyed, still it constantly reappears either as a cry for help or a celebration of beauty. It is ART that expects no title or prize, but to be acknowledged. As the Romanian street artist Cornel Ortakovicu ( Ortaku *) says, “The Street is the biggest art gallery”. I had the pleasure to meet him at his studio for an interview.

Ortaku street art 2
Cornel started drawing on walls when he was very young, during high school. However it took him a couple of years to become a stencil artist. He used to work only at night time, but lately he prefers the intimacy of his studio and glues his drawings to the city walls later on…
In Romania Graffiti art is still considered vandalism and it is punished by law.
“My technique is stencil art, however if I use spray I can still get a fine from the police, to say the least…”,

…I am constantly searching for something new, I don’t know what, exactly

How do you feel when your drawings get destroyed or crossed over?
“Art is ephemeral by nature”, Ortaku says.
 “The City evolves like a living creature and my drawings must do the same. There is no logic for my work to stay in the same spot forever..:”
“Others crossing over with their drawings can sometimes lead to beautiful street art works”
I actually have a favorite one right here:
Ortaku street art 3
“There is a thin line between vandalism and art”, Cornel says. “There are many drawings out there with no message at all. Passionate artists always look for the perfect wall, but many times they find it is already spoiled…”
What are you searching for, in street art? What is your personal “Mecca”?
“I am constantly searching for something new, I don’t know what, exactly. But I am sure I will know when I find it and then I will be looking for something else…” One can never be fully satisfied when it comes to art..there are always new goals to reach…”
How do you choose the titles for your drawings?
“My drawings have no titles, I never “labeled” them … That is because everyone passing by might see and understand different things. If my drawings had titles, it could narrow the viewers’ imagination and influence their point of view…and this is not what I want “

My drawings have no titles, I never “labeled” them …

Beside street art you also do commissioned work. What is the difference for you as an artist between the two?
“Both challenge me a lot. Every new project means the opportunity to do better job. When it comes to commissioned work, I of course prefer those clients who fully trust my view and understand my work”
You also worked abroad. How was this different from working in your home country?
“Indeed, I also worked in Germany and Spain. In Spain I met amazing people who understand street art. Streets are open to art. Artists do not feel threatened because they are not perceived as vandals”
“It is always a matter of perception: If I feel threatened when I work, the negative vibes become visible through my work and this is how it is being perceived by the viewers”
Ortaku street art 5
Future plans?
“One way ticket to see the world :). Starting with Europe and all the way to India…”
“I will take my time to study drawing. Will leave the spray at home for a while and only take the sketches notebook with me…”
I wished Cornel the best of luck and thanked him for having me over.
On my way home I was watched over by the army of guardian angels on the old city walls..
Ortaku street art 4

*In Romanian ORTAC means “friend” or “comrade”…


1 Comment
  1. […] *Read also: The Street is the biggest art gallery  […]

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