5 December 2012

The Art of Alberto Martinez

Hailing from the Cuban countryside outside Havana, Alberto Martinez began his artistic sensibilities by drawing the sugar cane trucks as they trundled past. From there he studied sculpture in Trinidad, the third most popular tourist destination in Cuba, before turning his attention to painting on canvas.

Brighton Pavilion, Alberto Martinez

Inspired by the architecture around him, his surrealist vision subverts the familiar with animals in place of humans and objects in place of structure. After choosing to live in Brighton for the last seven years, his work has naturally been inspired by the wealth of his local surroundings, producing artwork representing Brighton Pavilion, Brighton station and the pier to name a few.

Brighton Station, Alberto Martinez
More recently an opportunity presented itself to showcase his work in New York, which began the Martinez makeover of the iconic Statue of Liberty and Times Square, where the familiar is replaced with the fantastical, creating absorbing and fascinating new perspectives.


Times Square, New York city, Alberto Martinez
In place of human traffic, exotic animals converge on Time Square symbolising the mix of races and cultures that make up New York city. The Statue of Liberty is re-imagined as a composition of motor cycle parts from a Harley Davidson. For Martinez motor cycles embody a form of freedom, “it is not practical, you cannot take the kiddies to school, you can’t go shopping, whereas a car is a convenience, a motor bike is independence, which is what the statue was about”. Held in the hand of Madame Liberty in place of the tablet she holds an iPhone with the Fourth of July on it. Originally a present from the French after the American war of independence, Martinez brings the statue up to date with his interpretation.
The Statue of Liberty, Alberto Martinez

The pictures on display in his studio situated at JAG Gallery, 280 Madeira Drive in the Artists Quarter (I’ve just called it that) are print reproductions for sale that are of such a high resolution that I thought they were the original paintings when I was looking at them. However at £112 I think I should have realised the folly of my ways, the originals were sold in Birmingham for many thousands.

 For enquiries regarding an original Martinez click here.