While mostly propaganda is plastered on the street walls of Warsaw, it was hard not to notice the raw portraits of Black people in a country where 96.7 percent of the population is composed of white-polish people.
35-year-old Orlando Lazaro Ortega was born a creative child. He transforms ordinary walls into easels for his vibrant portraits.
Interview with the Artist.
“Why do you post your art up in Warsaw?”
Orlando: “I need to leave my footprints or let’s say fingerprints around in this neighborhood. It’s like ‘Hey I’m here!'”
“What gave you the idea to put the QR code?”
Orlando: “It’s the best way that I found in this moment to sign my work. I used to sign my name very small, but I wanted the people to know that I was making this work.”
“Why do you choose to make art?”
Orlando: “It’s one way of expressing myself. Also, it’s almost like a language because I can communicate my ideas with the people and I don’t physically need to be there.
“What inspires your art?”
Orlando: “Many things inspire me. It can be a moment, a mood, the weather… but the main thing that inspires me to do this work is because I want to change reality and reflect to others of what we can do and what we can change.
“What are some of your goals as an artist?”
Orlando: “My principle goal is that one day, I can make a living out of my art. Also, one of my goals is to make 75% of the projects I have pending; whether that be the idea that I want to do, a painting I want to do, or an exhibition that I want to do.”
“What’s next for you?”
Orlando: “In general, my next step is to promote my art the most I can. I think everything comes into your life at the right moment and step by step – but you have to do the work to receive what you want.”
As I look back on my first experience in Poland, I will always remember the kind person who proudly showed me around a city that felt so unaccepting of my presence.
He brings a light to this city through not only his art, but his personality that is composed of a vivacious joy for life.
Your Angel Ash ❤