Jesus Toro Martinez’s art is the physical manifestation of the human experience, a tangible interpretation of our visceral world. The native Texan, and man of strong Latin heritage, aims to project his soul into everything he creates. His incorporation of the universal themes of love, romance, death, and hope is designed to inspire the bridging of cultural, religious, and philosophical divides in the hopes of restoring our larger sense of community and connection.
His use of raw materials such as tar and rose petal serves to enhance this idea as they are recognizable parts of the natural world we all inhabit together. Martinez’s work has been featured across both states and nations, most recently at Museum of the West in Oslo, Norway, the National Academy of Art in Helsinki, Finland, University of Texas in San Antonio and the Latino Art Museum in Pomona, California.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Martinez and discuss artistry, abstraction, and the beauty of happiness.
Tell us about your process as an artist, where does your inspiration and drive come from?
My art comes from places, people and unforgettable moments that I have experienced. This kinds of influences are just foundations that I start create a drive to develop my art.
Tell us about the your use of materials and what they signify/symbolize in your work.
The materials I use is that I'm documenting the time and periods we live in. We leave in a world of plenty and this is why I use materials that are not meant for creation of fine art. I push the materials to work towards visual statement that process is as important as the end results. That is why I use materials that are around me. Flowers that create a senses of delicate balance as how our spiritual world is. Tar, is something that we have plenty from the oil we use.
What do you believe to be the purpose of abstraction? What do you hope a viewer experiences in your work?
My work is to see a world of feelings and playfulness that creates mixed emotions with color and materials, suggestions of how it appears to be but really is not that.
My work has developed in to a more colorful world than before. 20 years ago I was painting bulls blood and gold leaf on canvas. I was applying pigment straight from the earth and developing a process that was very unique. Now I'm still working with processes but found color, more colors to work with. Have more fun with my work.
As an artist of Latino heritage what do you think of the current political spectrum in the US?
As a Latino born in the US, my family has been here for generations. The border came to us; we did not develop the border or cross the border. The climate makes me think that we need to vote for the candidate that treats everyone with dignity and respect. This is a country that was build by immigrants and we should respect everyone... I'm a Texan that will vote for Hillary.
What for you is the ultimate purpose of art and expression?
My art is a way that I can contribute by using the waist from a world of plenty to create amazing & beautiful things so others can enjoy.
What for you is the definition of an artist?
Artist: A person that is constantly creating deferent approaches in making our surroundings more attractive for others to enjoy.
What is the most important piece of art you have ever experienced?
Walking by the Jewish cemetery in Mt. Of Olives in Israel and seeing hand carved stone done on the tomes. The carving on the stones were so detailed and amazingly divine.
I'm working on a series of drawings for an outdoor sculpture use in a public setting. Large scale...
Tell us a little about your upcoming exhibition.
The exhibit at the Latino Art Museum in Pomona,CA is an exhibit of current work... They are showing paintings and drawings made in a very untraditional way. Bringing materials such as wax, dirt, flower petals, coffee grounds, tar and self made pigments. Exploring the idea of feelings with what you see in the work. It's a very beautiful exhibit. The museum did an excellent job in putting together 100 pieces of art in three Exhibit spaces.
If you are happy you are beautiful...