Patrick Martinez: The New Voice of Urban Art

Patrick Martinezs "OJ", 2007

Mixed media artist Patrick Martinez’s signature style of highlighting the overlooked beauty in decadence has led him to become one of the leading forces in the contemporary art world. What others may see as damaged or depraved, Martinez sees as mediums to express the majestic realities of city life. Much the same way Public Enemy’s Chuck D famously referred to rap music as the “CNN of the ghetto”, Martinez’s work, heavily influenced by hip hop, conveys the neglected news of urban America from an insider’s perspective.

Martnezs breakthrough piece about the current state of hip hop, 2011

Martinez was raised in Pasadena, California surrounded by gangs and graffiti. Naturally, this environment impacted his voice as an artist. While Martinez avoided gang initiation, his neighborhood rarely avoided the consequences of gang rivalries, and a lot of his art attempts to address the complications of that lifestyle. These themes are advanced through Martinez’s formal training in concept and art theory. But before he studied fine art at the Art Center College of Design, he studied the essentials of street art by burying himself in the classic hip hop documentary Style Wars and the graffiti culture magazine Can Control which helped spark his early interest in tagging rooftops and freeway spots.

"Lovely", 2011

Savage Journey To The American Dream Album Cover

Instead of displaying his talent on the side of buildings and bridges, the Los Angeles-based artist’s paintings, neon works, and installations are now viewed in L.A. showrooms like the Known Gallery and the Stephen Webster Gallery. He took on Arizona’s contraversial immigration law SB1070 and its MLB supporter, the Arizona Diamondbacks, by using New Era baseball caps as canvases for his “Arizona Wetbacks”  socio-political art piece.  Also, keeping with his hip hop roots, Martinez recently designed the cover for MMG rapper Stalley’s 2012 mixtape Savage Journey To The American Dream.

"Arizona Wetbacks" Custom Logo Design, 2010

With an appreciation for hip hop culture, an eye for urban customs, and an understanding of high art aesthetic, Patrick Martinez represents the new age visual artist. An imaginative storyteller who stands on the giant shoulders of Futura 2000, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Lucian Freud to express a unique vision of a subculture that still has untold stories to share with the modern art movement.

"Pope" cover for LA Weekly, 2005

"Nas", 2007

Check out video of Patrick Martinez at work:

Art images courtesy of http://www.patrickmartinez.com/art.html

Cover photo by Eriberto Oriol via http://eribertooriol.wordpress.com/

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