PABLO LEONARDO MARTINEZ
"THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE WORK, IT IS ALL PART OF A CONTINUING PROCESS."
Pablo Leonardo Martínez was born in Havana, Cuba on November 6, 1961. At age five, he moved to Barcelona, Spain with his parents. He was a very shy child; hence, the change wasn’t easy for him. In fact, he remembers how it all felt unplaced in a grey, cold and unwelcoming place. However, everything turned out fine, and he still lives in his beloved host city.
Pablo Leonardo Martínez is an introspective artist who grants an unprecedented autonomy to his sculptures through magical and symbolic ideas that go beyond aesthetics and attend to the truth without further purposes, inviting and proposing to be treated philosophically, that is, the ultimate reason for being. He has had many solo/group exhibitions in commercial galleries and museums in the USA, France, England, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Pablo Leonardo Martinez enchant us with his sculptures that depict a reflection of everyday life...with a touch of illusion, with a touch of magic, and a touch of nonexistent delight. All embarking, ever encompassing and intruding our senses without apologies. And we accept it...simply welcome it and go on this spheral ride.
"I create sculptures from fragments brought together by thoughts, intentions and decisions that search for balance between expansion and contention. They are drawings in space defined by volume and emptiness, constructions that don't withdraw from the day to day reality, but rather result from an interior search that is both random and intentional. "
Q. Do you remember the first piece of art you made? What was it and
how old were you? What shaped your artistic journey since then?
A. I was around eight years old when I started painting. I do not
remember my first art painting, yet I can easily recall a special
memory from all those early times: my mother collected some of my
paintings and organized a small exhibition in my room. I sold many of
them. She still keeps a couple of those paintings and a picture of my first exhibition.
Q. Tell us about some of the highlights of your artistic career, such us
A. If I had to choose just one of my exhibitions, I would recall the one
hosted at the Esther Montoriol Gallery in 2006. This is when I first showed my
removable steel compositions and my wood-iron assemblages, which
are my trademarks. For over a decade, my focus has been the movement of each piece and its potential interaction with the spectator, who is able to touch and play with the composition, changing even its position. I call those pieces "circular compositions”. 2018 was an important year for me: I made a series of big format circular compositions in wood for a new technological building in Barcelona and had a solo exhibition at The America’s Collection Gallery in Miami, exhibiting wood and iron assemblages.
Q. What styles and artistic movements are reflected in your painting?
A. I would say that I melt abstract art with my interest in geometrics,
vibrations and kinetics, mainly focusing on creating organic forms.
Q. What has been the work that has marked you the most?
A. That’s an interesting question. I think of my work as an ongoing
process. I prefer to see it as a whole, where I can go forward and
backward with freedom and discover new approaches.
Q. If your works could talk ... What would they say about the artist?
A. I am almost sure they would say that I am always looking for an imaginary balance through forms, moods, and materials (and they interact with each other), seeking to achieve a personal state, that pleases me, frees me, and allows me to keep my art forward.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. I am interested in the historical avant-garde of the 20th century,
Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, geometric abstraction and
surrealism in its early stages, which refers to automatism, very useful
to set a system of internal research work.
Along with the artists that I admire, I would mention Kandinsky, Hans Arp, the organic of Brancusi, the balances of Calder, Mondrian, Klee, Noguchi, Chillida, Oteiza, Anton Pevsner and Naum Gabo, among others.
Q. What does "success" mean to you?
A. That’s a big question, one of those which have made me think a lot
over the years. It is true that recognition could be an answer but always if the monetary issue is resolved. I would say then, that success would be working on my sculptures without worrying about the material aspects of my daily life, selling enough pieces a year to feel safe, in harmony and happy to know that my art is beloved.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. Absolutely not. I really enjoy the solitude of my studio, where is the only place I can really express myself without boundaries. When I am
not creating, I am with my family, living a quiet life.
Q. What does your work aim to express?
A. I work basically for myself, while at the same time, it is true that I am interested to connect with the sensibility of those who interact with my art. The aim of my work is to convey harmony and beauty in a Universal way. Or at least, try to.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. My philosophy is around the work process and following my intuition while being in my studio. I would say it is kind of an automatic process where the flow is the main key. Moreover, sometimes I dive into different new works that later allow me to come back to old ones that were waiting for something else to happen.
Q. Apart from making art, what do you love doing?
A. I love learning new ways of thinking and traveling. I also enjoy much cooking.
Q. If you had not chosen to be an artist, what would you have dedicated yourself to?
A. I have always been interested in the architecture field so I would say I could have become an architect.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Actually, I didn’t get many, really… But I have never lacked support from my family, friends and those who I have come across through precisely, my sculptures.
Q. What advice would you give to the next art-generation?
A. I would tell them that is mostly a matter of patience and being able to keep a live desire to express oneself through art. The intimate process of seeking who you are and how to express it is an amazing journey worth living. However, I have always thought that, in general, advice has more to do with those who gave it than those who get it.