Mathieu Forget x Ran Ortner

Like waves, we are in motion…

Ran Ortner paintings play with tension and movement.  In the endless rhythms of the ocean we feel the pulsing of our hearts, the in and out of our breath.  In art, like dance, we play amongst the bitter and the sweet, dark and light, strength and fragility, this is the music of our lives. 

While here immersed in the dance of life, we live, we laugh, we love and connect. Ran and I find that while tragic, life could not be more extraordinary, the ups and downs are mesmerizing. Our collaboration is a celebration of our home, our body and our planet.

Each individual, like a wave moving through the ocean, dissipates. Waves can be seen as both feminine and masculine.  They rise in a masculine gesture to then pitch forward into a womb shape before collapsing to their death. Waves are both connected to and are of the ocean. Like a leaf is connected to and is of the tree.  So too, we as individuals are connected to humanity.  This collaboration is both a nod to stillness and is a reminder that life can be lived wild and free like the waves of the ocean.

For the story,

I met Ran Ortner through a friend of my father in 2018. My dad was visiting me in NY and suggested we go see his studio while he was in town. Not knowing what I was getting into I was mind blown by what I saw. We entered a building in Dumbo, speak-easy like, and walked into a giant space with paintings up to 30 feet long and 8 feet high hanging on bright white walls.

For the next few hours Ran went on to explain his story, his process and what he’s currently working on. Some of his paintings take up to 2 years to get completed with up to up to 7 painters working full-time. The power and beauty coming out of these pieces was simply breathtaking and I found myself lost listening and discovering a man I simply had never heard about. After this first introduction, I’d frequently pop by the studio every time I found myself in Brooklyn. Couple visits in, Ran and I talked about doing a project together combining dance and art together. Shortly after, I invited my friends Gavin Millette and Erick Hercules to come and collaborate with us on this creative idea.

Photos by Erick Hercules (@erickhercules)
Edit by Mathieu Forget
Film and coloring by Gavin Millette (@gavinmillette)

Follow Ran Ortner (@ranortner)