I have only recently discovered the work of Arantzatu Martínez…
…ok, thats kind of a lie.
I first saw her work in an issue of “Drawing”, a subset magazine of the American Artist series. I remember being struck not only by her use of shading but her use of negative space.
I then promptly forgot what I had seen. Not because of her, mind you, but because I’m flightly and easily forgetful (which if you notice how seldom I post in this blog should come as no surprise to you!). Ms Martinez then popped into my life again recently via the “Artist A Day” widget on Google…and I fell in love with her use of shading and negative space all over again.
“La casa de las brujas (The house of the witches)” Oil on linen. © Arantzatu Martínez
Her work is what the word “surrealism” is ultimately all about. Her subject matter looks so real, yet at the same time, not a part of our reality at all. It makes your mind jump back and forth while you try and figure out where “what is” meets “what could be” and “what never was”.
Born in Spain, in 1977, she studied at the Fine Arts University of the Basque Country and upon graduation moved to New York to continue her studies under the mentorship of Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier. She’s won numerous awards, and even been honored by LucasFilm with having her work featured in a project entitled “Star Wars Visions”.
Some detailed views of a few of her pieces are featured here, with a special attention paid to “La Casa de las Brujas” (the House of the Witches) which is shown to the right…and to be honest is quite possibly one of my favorite pieces she has created. There is something otherworldly and ethereal in Martinez’ image of the witch standing in her protective circle as she casts a spell…yet at the same time it is well grounded in reality. You realize there is nothing going on that couldnt actually happen…yet, your mind tells you “This isn’t real….”
It takes a deft hand to pull that sort of thing off, and Arantzatu Martínez has it.
Face it….you and I will never be this good.
DETAIL: “Dracula” Oil on linen. © Arantzatu Martínez
“Dracula” Oil on linen. © Arantzatu Martínez
DETAIL: “Flying” Oil on linen. © Arantzatu Martínez
“Flying” Oil on linen. © Arantzatu Martínez