The Last Velvet Painter in Tijuana

For many years, Alfredo Rodriguez Ortiz – Argo – was among the throngs of velvet painters making a living in Tijuana painting Elvis, Marilyn, John Lennon and John Wayne.

Those were velvet’s glory days of the 1970s. Now interest in the art has fallen off considerably. He keeps at it. Painting Bob Marley and Tupak more than any others.

He’s now among the last velvet painters, and the only one, from what I can determine, who still knows how to paint Elvis Presley on velvet.

I hope you like the video.


January 14, 2017 · 3:34 pm

3 Responses to The Last Velvet Painter in Tijuana

  1. Curt Caldwell

    Sam: Thanks for the info and video on “Argo”. I’ve had my Velvet Elvis for about 20 years. It gets many compliments because this particular piece he did is remarkably eerie, captivating, and extraordinarily realistic. It’s about the finest example of his work I’ve ever seen. Similar to the images at the top of this page, Argo simply used all white / greyish acrylic on black velvet. It’s ghostly and haunting. Looks like a photograph….from Heaven.

    Naturally, I wanted to see if there was any additional info on Argo and I found this blog. Now I know! I sent an email Sam, and included a photo of the painting. You’re welcome to post on this page if you wish.

  2. Teresa A Snyder

    Very cool video…..along with the velvet painters story, I enjoyed the shots of Tijuana! Thanks!

  3. Awesome storytelling and filming. OMG, and the zebra donkey? Too funny!!

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