ART AT TSION: JESUS MARTINEZ #26/OIL | AMOR DE TO TIERRA NUYORICAN
August 9 - September 30
I’m a Nuyorican born in Brooklyn, raised mostly in the Bronx with a couple of periods of living in Puerto Rico, first as a pre-teen and then in my early thirties in San Juan. I was born in the early 1960’s to a large extended working-class family who brought their own stew of influences between the Puerto Rican and American cultural scenes. We lived in Butler Houses – public housing in the late 1960s early 70s, I recall fragments of the social justice and civil rights protests in the Bronx during the period. At present, I’m a full-time psychotherapist and part time artist. Part time only in the execution of the painting but, more importantly, full time artist in terms of always aware of searching for subject matter. I live to “see and create”.
I have been drawing and sketching since around the age of 8 or 9. Significantly, at the age of 10 through 12 my family moved to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and it is there that I became enamored of maps and skylines of cities. At that moment, in the place, I became aware that cities weren’t infinite entities but had limits and boundaries with different shapes and forms dictated by their respective environments. In the States cities were in significant sprawl into suburban spaces and without form. The interest in landscapes, shapes, cities and building spurred a goal of becoming an architect. Although I never pursued a career in architecture, I believe this early period really deepened a love of shape and form. More importantly, drawing intricate maps also became a way of imposing order on a chaotic family environment. Consequently, art and map making became a vehicle for imposing order and a semblance of control in my own life.