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 Miguel Martinez  (1951 - )

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Lived/Active: New Mexico      Known for: figure-faces, landscape, graphics

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Ad Code: 3
Miguel Martinez
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of a Woman
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
With long-time ties to Taos, New Mexico, he is known for modernist oil pastel paintings of women, many of them Hispanic looking, whose faces fill almost the entire canvas. His goal is to reveal their souls and to make them look as though they live and breathe.

He was born and raised near the old Taos Plaza to a family that goes back three generations in that area. His father died when he was age three, and his mother raised him and his brothers and sisters.

He first took art lessons at the Stables Art Center where he won prizes and then crafted jewelry with his brother. Study with local artist Ray Vinella inspired him to become a full-time artist.

Although Martinez primarily paints portraits, he also works in bronze, ceramic, and oil, and his work incorporates his research into times when the Spanish first arrived in New Mexico.

He does not use models; the subjects come from his imagination.
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Miguel Martinez was born in 1951 in Taos, New Mexico, near the old Taos Plaza; his family goes back three generations in that area. His father died when he was three years old and his mother raised him and his brothers and sisters. He first took art lessons at the Stables Art Center where he won prizes and then crafted jewelry with his brother. He studied with local artist Ray Vinella who inspired him to become a full-time artist.

He primarily paints portraits, but he also works in bronze, ceramics and oil and his work incorporates his research into times when the Spanish first arrived in New Mexico. He does not use models; his subjects come from his imagination. He is married and has two daughters.


Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
From the internet, AskART.com
Southwest Art magazine, December 1998

Biography from Manitou Galleries:
The youngest son of Hispanic parents, Miguel Martinez was born in New Mexico in 1951.
He discovered his interest in the arts during high school where he enjoyed his hands-on experience with paints, clay and other media. Later, after becoming a successful jewelry designer, he turned to painting, which he believed would more fully express what he wanted to say in his art. He committed himself completely to a study of this discipline, spending five years working with several prominent New Mexico artists. Also, early on he was inspired by Mexican artists Rivera and Zuniga for their portrayal of the dignity of common folk, and he admired Modigliani’s works of powerful and poignant human emotions. He knew these were the kinds of messages stirring in his soul and waiting to be painted.

Still in his early twenties, Miguel found a style, which has become his signature. Moved by deep respect and admiration, he began a series of large faces of women, enlarging and stylizing the eyes,and endowed them with mystery of illusive and provocative expressions. He has created them in an ambiance of everyday life, giving them a voice which has inordinately proved to speak to the hearts of a universal following.

After almost twenty years this series continues, though Miguel says, “The women have changed as time passed, and I have changed as well. In my travels around the world, the women I have encountered have all found their way into my paintings. Each face I paint, to me, has a different identity. But I feel from the beginning they have all shared a common bond -- their values, their character -- things almost forgotten in our everyday day routines. These women are upright, strong yet gentle, proud of who they are. They have nothing to hide.”

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