Ask a ¡NUEVOlution! Artist | Pilar Martínez
We are pleased to introduce the artists who have contributed works of art to ¡NUEVOlution! These talented artists represent the NUEVO South, as well as Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and many other countries. Their work expresses their experiences, stories and inspirations, from their home countries to their new homes in the South.
¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South is on display now and includes complementary programming throughout its 13-month duration. You can see a list of all our programs on the Museum calendar.
Meet ¡NUEVOlution! Artist: Pilar Martínez
You have a BFA in Advertising Communication from the Dominican Republic. How do you think studying this has helped you in your current career in art?
Art direction, typography, graphic design and illustration constantly permeate into my work as part of my visual vocabulary and color sensitivity. My knowledge and experience in advertising communication continue to enhance all aspects of my professional art practice including creative thinking, production, branding, marketing, self-promotion, photography, copywriting, strategy development, and more.
You often base your artwork on what your father always taught you, “nothing is wasted, everything is transformed.” What does this mean to you and how do you carry out this idea through your artwork?
Growing up, I did not have too many options for art materials and equipment, so I had to be even more creative transforming old things and using available resources to its maximum. The concept “nothing is wasted, everything is transformed” was instilled in me by my father since my early years, and it is a concept in which my art practice is still enveloped. For example, I use this concept when I collage paints scraps from my palette; as well as when I use old records and elements that I collect through the years.
In my artwork, it is a way of returning. This constant recycling of memories in materials gives me freedom to rediscover things on a surface. It is where past and present interact harmonically, and at the same time, give birth to a new memory of their own.
You often rely on memories and experiences to create your artwork. How has your artwork changed overtime as you gained new experiences?
My artwork attempts to rescue the fragments of an identity that is ever changing and evolving due to cross-cultural ties, the passage of time, the constant negotiating and compromising between two cultures, as well as the disconnection of not being completely from “here” but also not been completely from “there” anymore. Flexibility is needed for adapting to the new without forgetting the old. As I continue to move in time from one place to another, new skills and knowledge are gained. It just adds more layers of memories to my work, where all these fragmented experiences interact together, leaving a sense of completion and a feeling of undone.
Tell us about some of the artwork you’re contributing to ¡NUEVOlution! and why you chose to feature those pieces.
“Me.You.Seek: The New South” (when pronounced sounds the same as “Music”) is a colorful interactive installation of ribbons and Velcro composed organically on two adjacent walls. Viewers will experience a personal “encuentro” with the work, by writing on a piece of ribbon a fragment of a song they remember as part of the soundtrack of their life. The ribbon represents a musical note. They will connect the ribbon to the Velcro pentagram on the wall creating this “Me.You.Seek” one “note” at a time. The piece is constantly re-inventing itself as the lives of people who come across it: by remembering a melody or by recognizing another fragment of a song that other viewer has left previously hanging on a ribbon. This connection makes it so the song and the memory will stay with them long after they pass the installation site. That’s the gift.
What do you want others to learn from your artwork?
“The music that is learned, has nothing to do with the one that is carried inside” -Juan Luis Guerra. Dominican Musician
My artwork is about visualizing the rhythms of my memories in a constant process of discovery. By exposing the viewer to this celebration of lines, textures, colors and emerging figures, I invite them to connect with their own memories, embracing the new ones but always remembering the old ones. No matter where we move, what we learn and who we encounter, our memories will always be our unexpired proof of identity. It is the music inside that keeps us going.
About Pilar Martínez
Pilar Martínez is a creative visual artist who was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She holds a BFA in Advertising Communication from Universidad Iberoamericana in the Dominican Republic (Magna Cum Laude), a degree in Art Direction from the Miami Ad School in Florida, and a MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia. Martínez’s work reflects her creativity and her passion for collage, music and the joy in Latin American culture as she continues to canalize through mixed media, her recollections, and the convergence of two cultural experiences.
Be sure to check back each week for new stories and insights on ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South.