Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Craig Martinez

by Bree Garcia

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CM:  Historical, cultural, and spiritual issues heavily influence my artwork, yet these topics may not be immediately apparent in my sculptures. My worldview is based on a fundamental belief in redemption; a form of redemption no longer burdened by cliché convictions, but one tempered by the harsh realities of life. Taking material that was considered worthless and making it into art is a function of my worldview.

My sculptures are composed of wood, wire, canvas and other materials that have been used and discarded. Cuts, scratches and scars are the features that make each piece of debris interesting to me. I am attempting to take these materials and give them another life.

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SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process? What is your preferred medium and style?

CM:  I painted for years but decided to start sculpting four years ago. For now, it is the only form of art I desire. I rarely sketch out a concept before I start but I will research photos for scale and profile lines. The subject of each sculpture is based on sheer desire. My work often has a Native American nuance, but not all pieces can be categorized as such. Conscious or unconsciously, my work tends toward eternal archetypes. I am interested in the human as a spiritual being burdened with reflective thought. Art that focuses solely on the intellect is of no interest to me. I find it impotent and prosaic.

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SAHC: As a Sacramento artist what responsibilities do you believe that you have to the local and the global community?

CM: Sacramento’s art scene is often overlooked because we are situated between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  We are the “middle child” and often excluded simply because of geographic circumstance. As an artist from Sacramento, I believe it is my duty to support all other artists in this community or from this community. We do not have the luxury to become cliquish or sectarian, yet this sometimes happens. Sacramento does not need to “be like” the major art regions in order to be taken serious. Our city has a personality all of its own. The genesis of Sacramento’s art reputation must come from artists supporting one another, and not as an effort to compete with L.A. or San Francisco.

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SAHC: What advice do you have for emerging artists, or those pursuing a career in the arts?

CM: Find your own vision, do not compromise it, and work your ass off.

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SAHC: Who are some of your favorite Sacramento Artists, and why?

CM: Louie The Foot, John Fortes, Jack Alvarez, Frank LaPena, Mick Sheldon, Gale Hart, Rudy Cuear, Skinner and Robert Ray… just to name a few.  The reasons are varied, but the common thread is dedication to their work and I drank lots of beer with many of them.

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SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found?

CM: www.masterworksfineart.com, http://ffffound.com, www.thisiscolossal.com, http://nycgallerydirectory.com, www.britishcouncil.org/arts, www.scotteder.com

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 SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader?

CM: Support all of the arts here in town. Poets, actors, musicians and painters add to the quality of life in our unique city.

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SAHC: Where can your work be viewed, or found online?

CM: www.craigmartinezart.com, www.lillyvigilgallery.com, www.facebook.com/CraigMartinezArt

If you are interested in being one of SAHC’s featured artists, email us at: info@sacramentoarthistory.org

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