About the Artist
At a very early age, José “Joe” Martínez was fascinated by the arts, specifically by the impressionist paintings of Claude Monet. The ceaseless search for authenticity and the exploration of different techniques ignites his passion for painting. Two months of hospitalization, after a car crash in 1973, intensified his full immersion into the visual arts; this lonely time allow him to draw endless sketches, and provided him with a renewed enthusiasm for painting.
He was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. At the age of 9, he relocated with his family in the United States, and became part of the Puerto Rican diaspora. As a minority student under the American education system, he stood out in visual arts courses. As a young adult, he enrolled in the Plastic Art courses of Fairmount Park (1979), and then became part of Prints for Progress (1980) students, where he started experimenting with engraving. In 1990, he attended the prestigious Philadelphia College of Arts. Devoting himself professionally to the visual arts, he returned to Puerto Rico in 1991. He obtained a BFA in Education with a major in Visual Arts from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, with concentration in Painting, from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Professor Martínez is currently working as a teacher for the Puerto Rico Department of Education.
Along with several colleagues and renowned artists, he organized the contemporary art group: Cambio, in 2007. They offered avant-garde exhibitions in Ponce City, La Ciudad Señorial. Mr. Martínez spent almost a decade exploring representative painting, specifically landscapes of his native island. Most of this work belongs now to private local and international collections. Since the last half of the 2000’s decade, Joe started to develop a modern and original voice in the semi-abstract expressionism. He combines the formal aspect of the object with a psychologic and sociologic analysis of its essence. His oils and engravings point towards human behavior, humanism, existentialism and social criticism. Eclectic in his plastic taste, he keeps in touch with contemporary plastic expression through his continuous visits to the most important museums and galleries of the United States. He currently works from his studio, in Ponce, Puerto Rico.