14 - Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz—Tapping into a Legacy of Body and Effort to Level the Playing Field / by Vivian Liddell

 Vivian Liddell and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

Vivian Liddell and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz

Peachy Keen headed down to Orlando, Florida for Spring Break and met up with local artist and educator Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz. Bronx-born to Puerto Rican parents, Raimundi-Ortiz talks us through her teenage years attending the fabled “Fame” school (LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts) and creating her Wepa Woman superheroine.

She explains how she got schooled at Skowhegan and Rutgers (hanging around with such highfalutin art-world characters as Robert Storr) where she learned to use her own body to tell her own story on her own terms as a performance artist. She breaks down how her hilarious "Ask Chuleta" character ended up on YouTube and we talk at length about teaching with what she calls "cultural spackle" to fill in the gaps that may be missing in students' education.

Ever wonder what to say when your Uber driver finds out you’re an artist and asks “What’s the big deal with Mondrian?” Raimundi-Ortiz knows how to walk the lines and switch the codes and she’s got your answer.

 Studio view of work in progress from the Reinas (Queens) Series

Studio view of work in progress from the Reinas (Queens) Series

 Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz performance:  The Pietà Project . 

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz performance: The Pietà Project

 Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz as "Ask Chuleta"

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz as "Ask Chuleta"

Related Links:

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, National Portrait Gallery IDENTITY: Wanda Raimundi-OrtizSkittLeZMusicTV, Townie Tourist

Contemporary artists referenced in this episode: Abigail DeVille, Tara Donovan, Gabriel Orozco, Wangechi Mutu, Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Fred Wilson, Whitfield Lovell, Rackstraw Downes, Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Nikki S. Lee, LaToya Ruby Frazier

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You can find more images from our studio visit on Instagram (feed below).