The Musical Color of Ethnic and Mestizaje Identity

Jean Deleage Gallery presents artist Arturo Martinez first solo exhibition, September 18

By Jimmy Centeno
Published on LatinoLA: September 12, 2017

The Musical Color of Ethnic and Mestizaje Identity

Artist Arturo Martinez first solo exhibition is a culmination of music, culture and ethnicity. His work reminds one of the great African American artist Romare Bearden celebrative renderings of life, jazz, and people. Like Bearden, Martinez too praises his ethnicity and mestizaje without losing sight of the long struggle of the diverse ethnic communities of Mexico.

His geometrical compositions of C shapes, half Us, curves, circles and his nonlinear patterns flow rhythmically. A musician himself of "Son Mestizo" Martinez roots his paintings with an African, Mestizo and Indigenous lining. Born in Tlacotalpan Veracruz, Mexico he captures the lyrical and the traditional in the vibrate power of its local fauna, flowers and customs with colors that guide his inspiration like a musical note on canvas. Each painting ripples with movement and flows according to the color chosen. For Martinez, "music has resonance." His approach to color is like that of Modernist Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky who believed color to be like a keyboard. Martinez's paintings have a deep inclination towards the rhythm of Latin Jazz.

The paintings of life as in his amulante (street vender) series with flower and fruit venders begin with a slight gesture of humility that starts with faith. The titled head is not a sign of submissiveness but of a ceremonial posture that builds on all the inner strength to start a new day.

By incorporating patterns from Mexico's diverse ethnic and Indigenous plurality, Martinez exalts his recognition of the importance the artisanal artists have had in Mexico's creative spirit. Each pattern expresses a natural deity, the cosmos and a metaphorical meaning.

Opening reception Monday September 18th, 2017 from 7pm-10pm.
Arturo's Martinez work is currently in display to the end of September.


About Jimmy Centeno:
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