top of page


Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio

Altered Book:

The Order of Time, Carlo Rovelli (1985)

Charcoal drawings and collage.

Artist Statement

Ortiz-Rubio delves into the complexities of time through its many contrasting yet indivisible philosophical, scientific, and spiritual notions. She examines the inextricably human experience of time as both linear and circular, as finite and infinite, of the impossibility of it being defined yet always striving to capture it. Ortiz-Rubio is deeply interested in the instant, in the small window of time we call the present, the space between transitions, the nebulous moment that barely exists because it expires as soon as it arrives. Her work seeks the invisible membranes that divide one from other, past from future, life from death.

Carlo Rovelli’s book The Order of Time presents one of the most important questions that physicists are facing today, what is time and does it exist? Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio has referenced this text for many years as a source of knowledge and inspiration for her personal inquiry of time in her artwork. Her intervention in the book was a very intimate and personal process. As she reread the book she would stop and develop a drawing in the places that had personal importance through her own course of understanding or questioning of the subject. The drawings would evolve intuitively and quickly as a response to the text.


oh life to live, life already lived,

time that comes back in a swell of sea,

time that recedes without turning its head,

the past is not past, it is still passing by,

flowing silently into the next vanishing


—from Octavio Paz’s poem “Sunstone”

Short Bio

Tatiana Ortiz-Rubio is a Mexican artist who received her MFA at the New York Academy of Art and currently teaches at the University of San Diego. Ortiz-Rubio’s work is focused around the inquiry of time. Her work contemplates time’s unreachable nature, the relativity of the present, the infinite, creation, and death.

bottom of page