Limited Editions from Alberto Martinez

See the Art of Alberto Martinez

martinezMy name is Alberto Martinez Hernandez. One first name, two surnames.

I was born in Cuba in 1977 in a very small village surrounded by sugar cane plantations and all sort of agriculture hardware.

Dad was a tractor driver, mum a housewife. I’m the youngest from 4 siblings. One girl, three boys.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a tractor driver as any self respected boy in the village would. Destiny had other plans I guess. My first memories of any art related activity are drawing the passing steam engines with trucks full of sugar cane 50 metres from our house. By a mixture of luck, good preparation and help from relatives and friends I got a place to study sculpture at the Fine Arts Academy “Oscar Fernandez Morera” on the beautiful city of Trinidad. I graduated in 1997. I’ve been living and working in Brighton for the last seven years.

Alberto’s works explore the issues of modern man through cityscapes littered with dream-like, surreal imagery.

From very recognisable metropolises to intimate streets, he distorts reality in support of his painting’s fascinating narratives. Distinctive features of his recent works include the use of colour (warm, often almost tropical), painstaking detail, wit, humour, and a variety of intriguing elements that intertwine to challenge our conventional views of the city.

A relentless pursuit for technical improvement enhances Alberto’s work discipline, which is a prominent characteristic of his personality. His oil on canvas paintings take weeks, indeed sometimes months to complete, and intricately craft stories that often draw inspiration from the challenges presented by his move to England in 2004.

Alberto works from his studio at the JAG Gallery in Brighton. His work is featured in many private collections, and he often undertakes commissions that include elements of a more personal nature to his collectors.

“Brighton is still a daunting place for me. I’ve been here for seven years now. and even though it feels like home, sometimes I find myself looking at places and buildings as if I’m seeing them for the first time.

When an image, an angle or something ‘hits’ me, the fun begins. I draw the view (usually late at night, when rational thinking is asleep). Then my brain starts its journey of replacing items, meanings and readings.

Why not have penguins walking down the road, or a Soviet rocket for a tower? Does it matter, really? Isn’t Brighton itself surrealist enough? Maybe being an outsider helps me to see the wonders and details of this city you can miss due to everyday life. I hope I never come across as judgemental or cynical in my paintings. My priority while I’m doing them is to have a laugh.

Maybe I’ve inherited that from my dad, who was a very funny guy. It’s hugely rewarding to see how onlookers’ faces change while they are in front of my versions of their city. Influences and inspirations? Too many! Mankind started painting their surroundings in caves thousands of years ago.”

Alberto Martinez

See the Art of Alberto Martinez

An Interview with Alberto Martinez

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See the Art of Alberto Martinez