Oakland artist Jet Martinez is a renowned muralist known for his exuberant and colorful murals that animate many of the Town's cityscapes. He hails from a sleepy Mexican beach town near Veracruz and has been adding color to Bay Area landscapes since 1997.
Jet attended the San Francisco Art Institute, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Today, you'll find his murals throughout the USA, and worldwide in places as far-flung as Brazil, Japan, Indonesia, Switzerland, France, New Zealand, Italy, and Mexico. He has also exhibited in rgalleries and art institutions nationwide, including Joseph Gross Gallery, 111 Minna Gallery, White Walls Gallery, Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Syracuse University, and many others. Additionally, Jet's painted commissioned murals for Facebook, Hilton, Kiehl's, John Fluevog, and Redbull.
Jet also served as the Director of San Francisco's acclaimed Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) between 2004 to 2014. While at CAMP, he was instrumental in creating and preserving public art in San Francisco's Mission District. He also regularly lectures on contemporary street art and is deeply involved in the street art world.
Jet's Latino heritage enlivens and informs every aspect of his art. He draws inspiration from traditional Mexican pottery, weaving, and embroidery. Jet works with acrylic paint and enamel, rendering organic shapes that push the boundaries of form and color.
His work transforms traditional styles into contemporary urban murals whose vibrant colors make them feel ecstatic. Like the craftspeople who inspire him, Jet prioritizes technical skills and embraces handmade imperfections.
His art explores the relationship between community and culture by united folk traditions with the vernacular of urban contemporary art. He says, "The core of my practice stems from my interest in locating folk art's place in a globalized world. I seek to create a multi-cultural dialogue that explores the consistencies of visual culture throughout time." The results feel magical.
The practicality of earning an income has led Jet to work more on interior art, but his heart remains in the streets! He says, "If given a choice, and money was no object, I would spend all my time painting large public murals in places that need beauty."
Wanna keep up with Jet Martinez, follow him on Instagram.
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