Zachary Ochoa


Return of The Magic Sword: A Conversation With Zachary Ochoa

November 29, 2021

<em>Return of the Magic Sword</em>. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2021

Return of the Magic Sword. Installation view, Steve Turner, 2021

Here is the thing, we’ve always enjoyed seeing what the new generations are bringing to the table cause no matter how comfortable we might be with familiar things, the new wave is always more exciting. So when we first saw Zachary Ochoa‘s wicked creations, both drawings, and paintings, unable to tell how exactly are they’re done or what they’re about, we got intrigued.

So we got in touch with the Milwaukee-based artist and part of the explanation of the imagery was, “If a god-like trans Mickey Mouse warrior has issues with loving their body or yearning for friendship.” Ok, now we were REALLY intrigued. While original and unique as a whole, each of the images is imbued with familiar elements – cartoon references, manga stances and/or dynamics, as well as fantasy or historic accessories such as tools, weapons, or outfits. Oftentimes accompanied with brief and ambiguous textual elements, the work continuously felt like a tiny part of something bigger. Like an alternative mythology or something. And on top of all that, there are dates/years occasionally scribbled in there too. Neither ancient times or unknown future, but recent ones from only a few decades ago. Apparently documenting times we’ve lived through by depicting something that feels familiar but is utterly fresh and exotic, Ochoa’s works swaddled us with that sweet sweet strangeness.

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