“Caught on the 7”: Renzo Ortega

Renzo Ortega performing with R-tronika at ABC No Rio: Photo by Christopher Villafuerte

Renzo Ortega performing with R-tronika at ABC No Rio: Photo by Christopher Villafuerte

Renzo, what is your subway stop?
45 Road–Court House Square

What is the best musician or artist you saw performing on a subway platform?
Hard to say, many of the artists perform at the subway platforms because they don’t have an opportunity or a venue to do it in good and safe conditions.

What type of work do you do?
I am an artist, a classic painter with a punk rock attitude.

What do you do for fun in Queens or the metropolitan area?
Just the idea to live in Queens is fun, I really love Queens. I feel at home in Queens.

What was your first art/performance experience like? Where was it?
I went to a very traditional high school, and my political ideas always put me in trouble with the “academic authorities”. Music saved my life, after the end of the year performance the “authorities” said to my mother: “don’t worry he can go, your son is an artist”.

What are you working on now?
I’m looking for the mental-body balance to paint without external worries, make it more in a spiritual way. And also I’m putting together a “party-good-vibe” orchestra from Queens to the people.

What are you working on in the future?
I wanna grow tomatoes and have a nice garden

—Renzo Ortega is curator of “Queens Sky” a Mail-Art Show at the Local Project as part of Queens Art Express, May 31st at 6pm. http://www.renzoortega.com, http://www.myspace.com/rtronika

In 2000 Renzo came to New York City, where he continued his studies through a merit scholarship at the Art Students’ League. He quickly became part in the New York’s arts community, in part through his involvement with Local Project supporting arts and community since 2003.

Other current projects include No Violence Music and the Resistance Music Festival, a series of concerts Renzo has organized and seek to promote peace and social consciousness among youth; and R-Tronika, a politically-conscious, multilingual electro-punk group which Renzo fronts as a singer and keyboardist.

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