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[exhibit] Un Lenguaje de Flores by Jet Martinez // SF

Heron Arts is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Jet Martinez, a mixed media painter and muralist originally from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, now residing in Oakland, California.

The opening reception is Saturday, April 6th 2024 from 6-9pm, where the artist will be in attendance. The exhibition is free and open to the public until May 11th by appointment only.

Sat Apr 6
6:00PM – 9:00PM
​Heron Arts
7 Heron Street, SF.

Top photo:

Un Lenguaje de Flores, translates to A Language of Flowers, referring to the artist’s inspiration from floriography; a method intended to communicate meaning with types of flowers and flower arrangements to convey feelings difficult to express with words.

This new series of work comprises 20 paintings in a range of styles and gradations inherent in Jet Martinez’s paint applications.

About exhibit:

Heron Arts is pleased to announce a new solo exhibition by Jet Martinez, a mixed media painter and muralist originally from Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, now residing in Oakland, California.

Jet Martinez is a prolific muralist and studio painter who creates vibrant emblematic compositions with elements of nature, highlighted by an aesthetic deeply rooted in his Mexican heritage and his exposure to Mexican Folk Art. Martinez transforms urban environments around the world with high contrast floral abstractions, often integrating birds and movement with a variety of colorful swirling vegetation which evokes the feeling that the area is alive and abundant. Un Lenguaje de Flores, translates to A Language of Flowers, referring to the artist’s inspiration from floriography; a method intended to communicate meaning with types of flowers and flower arrangements to convey feelings difficult to express with words. This new series of work comprises 20 paintings in a range of styles and gradations inherent in Jet Martinez’s paint applications. The artist aims to present a range of emotions using color theories that reveal a deeper level to the work. Martinez considers this series a reflection of sensitivities about the state of the planet, with his own personal hardships, victories and self-discoveries. A muted tonality, or a monochromatic palette, suggests a vulnerable side to the work. Martinez uses these flower motifs as a vehicle for communicating deeper meaning in reaction to abstract parts of his life.

Born in Tuxpan, Veracruz, and growing up in Cuernavaca, Morelos, México, the artist was first captivated at an early age with access to seeing large works in person by artists like Diego Rivera, Jorge Gonzalez Camarena, David A. Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco. Witnessing these large scale public works inspired the notion that this could be the pinnacle of artistic expression for him. He was also influenced by the studio works of Frida Khalo and Remedios Varo. Martinez sees value in the immensity of murals, and how public art can impact a community with visual storytelling, cultural representation, and as a forum for personal expression. The artist observed influential decorative traditions in many of the towns in Mexico he traveled to throughout his life. Specific styles and objects created by each community reflected the region with their different types of flora and fauna, color palettes, and quality of unique craftsmanship.

Jet Martinez moved to San Francisco to study Painting and Printmaking at The San Francisco Art Institute in 1997 after studying Spanish Literature at The University of Colorado in Boulder. Becoming an artist in the Bay Area at that time influenced his work amidst vibrant graffiti and mural scenes of the Mission School of the late 90s and 2000s, and a mentorship with Rigo 23. The artist creates a balance between both large format private and public work, as well as studio work. He begins his paintings with some research and digital sketches before transferring the composition onto a panel. The artist manipulates the surfaces of his paintings layering techniques like textural one-stroke blending, airbrush, linework, ink, masking, and spray paint. This use of materials encompasses the influences of world folk arts, graffiti, muralism, and urban elements. At the heart of the work, Martinez represents himself and his family, at the same time he hopes that his work can spread representation of Mexican and Bay Area cultures internationally. He takes pride in being a husband to another full time artist, Kelly Ording, with whom he is raising two beautiful children. The artist proclaims that his family was the “best investment he could have made in his artwork,” saying that their love and support has maintained his success and work/life balance. This latest iteration of his work, A Language of Flowers, is a series of meditations on sometimes heavy and introspective themes, and light-hearted expressions of hope.

About the Artist:

Jet Martinez is a Bay Area public artist based in Oakland, California. Martinez (b. 1973) is known for creating vibrant works of art that engage the traditions of Mexican folk art with contemporary aesthetics and materials. Originally from the small beach town of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, and raised in Cuernavaca, Morelos,

Martinez sources his inspiration from the imagery found in Mexican culture’s rich traditions of pottery, weaving and embroidery. Martinez finds joy in invigorating the often rigid or dull architecture of urban environments, like the Bay Area, with ornate patterns of flowers and abstract forms that take on new meaning as saturated emblems, redefining the neighborhoods and areas they occupy.

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