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.
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.
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.
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/