Artist’s Statement/Bio


Color-field Realism


Color has played a central role in Martín’s work from the beginning.  Profoundly impacted by his roots in the Caribbean and in South America, it is clear that varying lights have informed and continue to inform his paintings. Martín was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and spent many years of his life living in South America, (in Peru and in Uruguay, and most recently in Ecuador, a country he continues to return to often).


The colors of the Americas and Caribbean have formed a vital part of the narrative in his paintings. He infuses these colors into North American and European subjects, thereby creating a body of works that while staying true to their locales, remain rooted in what he refers to as the “True American Experience.” What emerges is what he calls “Color-field Realism,” the dissolve that exists in tension between the real world and pure light. He is inspired by subjects that carry a certain nostalgia and simplicity, such as old streetlamps, which as he explains “once represented modern advances in light, and yet have come to represent objects from a world that is quickly disappearing.” The exploration of the effects of color and light transcend specific places and become elements that can impact and resonate with viewers. In them, he reaches for the still-point in which ordinary objects and symbols move from the immediate to the otherworldly, from the quotidian to the contemplative and from the physical to the spiritual.  In that still point, the intangible light is born; and objects  disappear and reappear, like in Andean fog - old streetlamps, old bells, old churches and buildings, roads or pure landscapes become the catalysts that move us into this intangible light. 


Martín has shown his work at the Corcoran Museum of Art and at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.. His work can be found in the Permanent Collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Cuenca, Ecuador, the Municipal Museum of Cuenca, Ecuador, the Washington, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Hilton Corporation, and in many private collections around the world. Martín currently has a studio in Washington, D.C., where he has lived on and off for over twenty years. He has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the United States and his work can be viewed at Susan Calloway Fine Art in Washington, D.C.