Artists are often deeply conflicted: forced to constantly choose between opposing impulses — asked to continually compromise. Cris Ortega‘s struggle is between the simple shapes and sharp lines of anime, and the realistic forms and complex textures of more traditional works.
You are immediately confronted with this dichotomy when visiting Ms. Ortega’s site, and are asked to choose between two different galleries. Both areas offer beautiful examples of fantasy art, but characters featuring Cris’ more realistic treatments get the full benefit of her talents; retaining the open, primal design of anime, while achieving the depth and subtlety of painterly works.
The line between these two extremes is not as fine as Ms. Ortega might have us believe, as many works characterized as either comic or realistic are actually caught somewhere in between. It’s just as well, since these hybrid works are frequently the best Cris Ortega has created.
Put the labels aside, and simply enjoy the beautiful mosaic of artistic styles offered at the Spider’s Soul.
Recently, it seems that Ms. Ortega has been drawn to more airbrushed, realistic works… and the dual nature of her site is now limited to English and Español.
Written by Jeff in July of 2005. Last edited September 2014.