Jet MartinezOakland, CA
My work takes on many forms and styles with a celebration of Nature as a central theme. My work ranges from small intensely labored paintings to incredibly large public and private murals. In an attempt to never pigeon- hole myself and my work, I work on series which can vary dramatically from the last. I have worked on series of representational paintings with a psychedelic tinge, op-art inspired pattern based paintings, natural settings which incorporate the patterns into plant forms, and most recently, works inspired by folk art from my native Mexico. I am a full time artist, and have found a means to survive by expanding my repertoire of styles and techniques. Many of my commissions have forced me to work in styles that I would not have chosen, yet still I manage to make them my own.
My most recent work, in murals and paintings, is inspired by folk arts from Mexico. Some of the techniques I have reinterpreted include embroidery and pottery designs from the state of Oaxaca, small animal figurines and bark paper paintings from the state of Guerrero and Huichol paintings from the state of Jalisco. I have felt compelled to do this series of murals and paintings to highlight some of the beautiful aspects of Mexican culture in a time where most of what we, in the US, hear from Mexico is bad news. I want to celebrate the culture without talking about narco wars, immigration politics, or perpetual struggle. It’s not that I want to close my eyes to these problems, but rather that I feel it is important to talk about the good in this world, when we are constantly bombarded by the bad. In a sense, I feel like creating and celebrating beauty can be an act of revolution in turbulent times.
Generally, when left to my own devices, my work is bold and vibrant in color and form. I want my audience to SEE the work. I don’t believe in squinting. I want to create a sense of joy and life in each piece.
I am very comfortable working in most painting mediums and will use the material which best suits the final desired outcome. Most recently, my primary medium has been acrylic because it best suits the intricate pattern work I have been doing.
Jet Martinez (b.Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico 1973) lives and works in Oakland and San Francisco, Calif., where he is currently the art director for the Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) in the Mission District. He received his B.F.A in painting and printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and studied Spanish literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1992-1995). Martinez is the recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s “Art in Storefronts” Grant (2009), a two time recipient of the SFAC’s “Street SmARTS” grant (2010, 2011), the Port of Oakland/ Oakland Arts Council Grant for Artists (2005). He was awarded the Ivan Majdrakov Award in Painting, SFAI (2000-2001). His work has been shown extensively nationally in places such as the Warehouse Gallery at Syracuse University, the Chicano Biennial at Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana in San José, Calif.; the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Ariz., the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco California; SOMArts gallery, San Francisco, CA; Skyline College, San Bruno, CA, and many commercial galleries including 111 Minna (SF), Project1 (SF), Rita Alecantar Pinto Gallery (NY), Space gallery (SF), White Walls (SF). He has also exhibited internationally in places such Haas&Mayer Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; Ichy’s Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Estacion Cero, Oaxaca, Mexico. Martinez created commissioned murals for the San Francisco Arts Commission/Department of Public Works, San Francisco; the San José Federal Building, San José, Calif.; theOakland International Airport; and has significantly contributed to public art in San Francisco, and other major cities inside and outside of the United States including Oaxaca, Mexico; Zurich, Switzerland, and Florianopolis, Brazil ).