Professional muralist Jet Martinez is widely known in the San Francisco Bay Area for his large scale murals featuring bold color, broad line work and contemporary street style flair.  His Mexican culture has influenced his creative practice in more ways than one and now he is showing some of his new works in a solo exhibition called “Flores en Fuego” at Joseph Gross Gallery in New York City.  With three giant murals made especially for this exhibition, Martinez explores his designs and reveals his rich palette in an enclosed setting rather than public space.

"Amor con Amor Se Paga"- Acrylic, Ink on Panel, 108" x 96", 2015, photo courtesy Joseph Gross Gallery

“Amor con Amor Se Paga”- Acrylic, Ink on Panel, 108″ x 96″, 2015, photo courtesy Joseph Gross Gallery

Martinez is the Creative Director of the Clarion Alley Mural Project in San Francisco and was Facebook’s first ever artist-in-residence.  His work redefines Mexican Amate paintings and pushes the boundaries of visual culture by exploring ancient motifs and contemporary urban art.  Martinez’s folk art influence allows for his paintings to become fluid and vibrant; exhibiting high contrast color fields with decorative imagery.  His new body of work focuses on reincorporating community and culture into the contemporary realm by means of a more fluid street style.

In his solo exhibition, his animals and natural elements move through the panels of his large mural works.  His three immaculate murals have thickly painted dark backgrounds and a wide array of bold colors layered on top using a large brush. Some of his smaller details are applied using a pointillist technique which echoes embroidery often found in Mexican craft. His lines are crisp and pristine with no stencil in site.  His free hand ability is expert, as is his handling of light and tonality throughout his works.

"Noche en el Ajusco"- Acrylic, Ink on Panel, 108" x 96", 2015, photo courtest Joseph Gross Gallery

“Noche en el Ajusco”- Acrylic, Ink on Panel, 108″ x 96″, 2015, photo courtesy Joseph Gross Gallery

Martinez’s smaller scaled works are especially different from his usual large scale style.  They are more decorative in their demeanor and reminiscent of Latin American embroidery. These works reveal elements of nature in a more patterned, abstract way, utilizing the same color range per work. His lines are finer and closer together.  His color palette, though similar to his large murals, are slightly darker and more textural than his larger chaotic scenes.

Installation view of "Flores en Fuego" exhibition at Joseph Gross Gallery

Installation view of “Flores en Fuego” exhibition at Joseph Gross Gallery

Jet Martinez’s show is certainly not one to be missed.  His Mexican upbringing and culture translates into a fluid stream of bold work with contemporary street style and some Mexican craft techniques.  His solo exhibition at Joseph Gross Gallery is open to the public until October 31st, 2015.  Joseph Gross Gallery is located at 548 West 28th St.#232 NY,NY 10001.

About Dustin Hollywood

Professional Photographer & Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Nakid Magazine: Dustin Hollywood
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