George Ortiz, born May 10 1927, died October 8 2013. Read his obituary here.
It was two brilliant dealers who introduced Ortiz to the other great theme of the collection: African art — Charles Ratton in Paris and John Hewett in London . Hewett enjoyed what he called “George moments”, when the collector’s passion burst forth with the force of a hurricane. One such moment was in 1967, when Hewett invited Ortiz to dinner and put a Benin bronze head on the table. The price was a then astronomical £20,000 — but Ortiz bought it and named it “Bulgy Eyes”. He believed that it was the strongest work of art he owned.
For my post about “Bulgy Eyes”, click here. To read more about what Hewett called “George moments”, click here.
For Ortiz, art was the answer to Gauguin’s question: ‘Who are we, where have we come from, and where are we going?’