Cristian Ortiz-Crom is a London artist that has experienced life on two different continents. He takes his various influences to create art that blends history with comic books. Essentially, Ortiz-Crom blends reality with fiction.
Where are you from? Explain your experience with suburbia.
I’m from Bogota,Colombia, a city that rapidly expanded and grew within the last 20 years. My experience with suburbia was of bicycle rides in idle afternoons through open fields and setting up secret head-quarters in enclosed parks. All of this slowly changed as the outskirts of the city prospered and connected to the suburbs, filling them with shopping centers and restaurants. Now that I [have been living] in London since I was 16 I couldn’t imagine myself living away from the hectic pace of the city and its numerous chances to get a story to tell every day.
What influences/inspires your work?
My love for history and literature is definitely a key piece of what makes my work. I like to romanticize and exaggerate most of the things I read and watch. Films and comic books are my main source of inspiration, so I owe a great deal to people such as Akira Kurosawa, Ashley Wood and James Jean.
There seems to be a fascination with comic book culture in your work. What are some themes that you use?
For me, growing up with comic books and epic stories of great historical characters always led me to create heroic figures that usually possess the qualities of which I’m fantasizing about at the time, [such as] legendary samurais, robots, young heroes, and loyal animal companions.
How do you feel your surroundings can enhance or stifle your creativity?
My surroundings enhance my work greatly when there are inspiring and passionate people around me. Living in a place like London is crucial to me as I can always meet up with friends at exhibitions, book shops and cafes.