Melvin Martínez



San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1976


Melvin Martínez currently lives and works in his hometown, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2005, he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in painting from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas of this city. His work is easily recognized for the pigment impasto, frost, and colorful textures and patterns.

Through mixed media paintings, as well as sculptures and installations on paint, Melvin Martínez negotiates his place in the continuum of painters, while inviting us to (re)consider how we view this constantly evolving art. Artists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, and revolutionary movements like pointillism, nourish his work. In artist’s words, “[My] paintings renegotiate [my] debt to the optics of pointillism, the anarchy of abstract expressionism, the radiance of color field painting, or the embodied summons of gestural abstraction”. Martínez applies so much paint —in a riot of colors and mixed with materials such as glitter, crumpled newspapers, and costume jewelry— on his canvases on a large scale that their surfaces appear frosted, irresistible, and grotesque at the same time. His abstract compositions reflect an artist who honors his ancestors, while breaking new grounds.

Among his latest solo exhibitions stand out, Silvestres, Universidad Sagrado Corazón, S. Juan (2017), “Martinez Shop”. Madrid XF projects. Madrid. Spain (2016), All Inclusive!, David Castillo Gallery, Miami, FL (2013), and Mucho Gustó, Casa Mauuad, Mexico City, Mexico (2013). He has also been part of group exhibitions in spaces such as the Espai de Castellón, CAAM in Las Palmas, the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami, the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (MAPR), the Laguna Beach Museum among others.

His work is part of collections such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin; Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León (MUSAC); Museum of Fine Arts, Castellón, Spain; Espai D’Art Contemporani, Castellón, Spain; Lambert Museum Collection, Avignon, France; MAP, Museum of Ponce, Puerto Rico; MAC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; VAC, Valencia Contemporary Art, Valencia, Spain; Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville; Palm Springs Museum of Art, Palm Springs, California; Rubell Family Collection, Cruz Collection, Miami, among others.