JET MARTINEZ’S FUEGO
By Elizabeth Patterson
Jet Martinez is an artist whose dynamic use of color puts his work in the vein of modern pop art. But his work is more than just vivid – intricacy and detail in design set him apart from his contemporaries as well as his predecessors. A new exhibit in New York puts a spotlight on his talents.
Imspired by his Mexican heritage, the artist has been painting floral scenes for years. But you won’t find any five-point, childlike florals here – Martinez thrives on detail, adding intricate folds to his brightly colored flower bouquets and taking them on a variation of color change from point to center. The result is brilliant work like “Buquecito”, a rainbow of color that manages to soothe the eye rather than assault it. The work seems to emanate outward, pulling viewers in closer to feel the warmth. His lilies are different in execution but similar in concept. Sharp lines form the petals and leaves, creating a different experience entirely for the surging colors, and giving them much more depth and dimension than his boldly lined roses. And sometimes his flowers aren’t alone – Martinez has previously joined them with frogs, which look hyper realistic next to his graphic flora.
Flores en Fuego, or Flowers on Fire, is the newest exhibit from Martinez. He has developed his work with a twist, going into darker territory – literally, as his works feature a move away from some of his traditional bright designs. His classic flower works are featured, but with new additions like deer or birds. Also explored are new flower types and work that is a bit more gilded, with gold outlines instead of the classic color gradation. His sharp line style also makes a comeback, which on large-scale works looks like embroidery from afar. All in all, this exhibit is not to be missed, presenting an incredible take on flowers. You can see it for yourself at Joseph Gross Gallery from October 8-31, 2015.