Artist Oscar Esteban Martinez presents a selection of portraits intended to show the diverse nature of humanity. Enjoy his fascinating work and see more on his website.
From a very young age I knew that art would be a part of my life. I was born in Pasto, Colombia, the city where the carnival of Negros y Blancos takes place. This carnival is made up of huge multicolored figures of fantastic and dreamlike themes that left a strong impression on me. This, together with the colorful stained-glass windows of the churches where my grandmother used to take me, have inspired me throughout my life.
My uncles and my cousins were also artists. I had the opportunity to learn many artistic techniques that have allowed me to create my own works. I learned that when you want to create, all you need is a little bit of paper, glue and your imagination.
Shyness was part of my childhood. I avoided the gaze of most of the people, whom I watched while they weren’t looking. I played a game in my mind where I tried to recreate that person’s life, whether they look happy or sad, if they’re successful, shy, or a dictator…
Because of this, the human being has been the subject of my creations. Our passage through this world, the fragility, the ephemeral nature of our life and the interaction in society are constantly present in my work.
I paint a face and try to imagine their world, their personality, what they live for or why. I almost always accompany the faces with some elements that help to place the person in some kind of role.
My technique employs a mixture of drawings in charcoal with layered oil or acrylic paint applied with knives and brushes using colorful palettes. Using an expressionist style, I blend the figure with the background, giving various nuances to each representation.
Ultimately, when I paint a face I strive to give importance to the character, to their life and to what I think they represent. I look for common things with which other people and I can identify.
I hope that when people see my paintings, they find something familiar, something they can relate to. The person I paint could be anyone, even the viewer. We are all one.
Oscar Esteban Martinez invites you to follow him on Instagram.
Want to stay current on cutting edge business articles from Artsy Shark, plus artist features, and an invitation to the next Call for Artists? Click below to sign up for our twice-monthly email. You’ll get all this plus opportunities and special offers that you can’t get anywhere else!