Alberto Ortega: American Suburbs at Night

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By Dan in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Born in Seville, Spain, Alberto Ortega now lives and paints in Raleigh, North Carolina. His work focuses on the landscapes that we create for ourselves—our suburbs and our homes—at night.

Alberto’s paintings, are, for the most part, a stage in which we can envision our own lives. Interestingly, you’ll never see figures in his work. . . instead, your eye will be drawn to the parked cars, shuttered windows, and glowing porch lights that suggest human habitation without showing it.

Cul-de-sac (seen below) is one such stunning example.

Night-time painting of a driveway and parked car next to a white two-story home

It’s a deeply familiar tableau: most of us could probably envision ourselves in this scene just as easily as we could envision our neighbors, our parents, or our friends. The calm and quiet that infuses his work may even bring up feelings of nostalgia for our American way of life, or our search for the American dream.

Dark painting of a home at night, under a deep blue sky with softly glowing clouds

Alberto’s compositions tend to use layers of light and dark, creating specific areas for our eyes to move between. A glowing sky pushes forward a screen of darkly-silhoutted trees, while in the middle ground, outdoor lights cast warm pools into the lawn, or across rocking chairs resting on front porches.

Even the sections of streets we see give hints of the type of life lived in that house.

Painting of a small white house lit by a streetlamp and porch light at night

Perhaps most of all, you can see that each of these homes has a story—and in some cases, that story spans several generations of families working, sleeping, playing, growing, living within their walls.

If you’d like to see more of Alberto Ortega’s paintings, I highly encourage you to peek in on his full gallery of paintings at AlbertoOrtega.art.

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