About the Artist
Eddie Martinez is a contemporary American artist whose graffiti-inspired works have garnered international acclaim.
Early Life and Education
Eddie Martinez was born on the Groton Naval Base in Connecticut in 1977, where his father was stationed at the time. When his father left the Navy, the family traveled to Texas, then to Florida. After his parent’s divorce, Martinez moved to San Francisco with his mother, then spent some time in Massachusetts with his father. His father then moved to San Diego, where Martinez attended high school and began to create character-based figurative art.
He began collecting stamps, coins and comic books, and was he treasurer of the Benjamin Franklin stamp club in fifth grade, during the year he lived with his mother in San Francisco. Today he collects art.
Martinez says that has always been intrigued by graffiti, but has never wanted to risk jail time, so he uses the quick, linear lines that he would use in street art, in his studio.
He attended the Art Institute of Boston for one year before dropping out. He worked as an art handler at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston before moving to New York in 2004.
Martinez began painting in a Brooklyn studio and began showing his work in group shows. His work gained much attention and he was invited to exhibit at solo shows and museum exhibits.
In 2008, Martinez received a Bauernmarkt Residency from the Lenikus Collection in Vienna.
Martinez had his first solo show at the ZieherSmith Gallery in New York in 2006. His works combine a variety of medium, like ink, marker, oil paint and white out, in abstract, figurative and still life paintings, drawings and prints.
In 2010, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith described Martinez work as “a kind of updated, liberated Neo-Expressionism” drawing widely from Picasso, early Peter Saul, Arshile Gorky, de Kooning and David Hockney.”
His works have done extremely well at auction. At the 2021 Art Basel in Basel one of his works sold for $90,000, another for $200,000.
Eddie Martinez works are part of the permanent collections of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Marciano Collection, the Morgan Library & Museum, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum., the Saatchi Collection, the Hiscox Collection in London, and the Colección Jumex in Mexico City.
Eddie Martinez lives and works in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, artist Sam Moyer. The couple has one child.
Ted Loos. Eddie Martinez’s Triumphant Abstractions Land at the Bronx Museum of Arts. Cultured Magazine. November 13, 2018.
Paul Carter Robinson. Eddie Martinez Speaks To Artlyst About His Latest London Exhibition. Artlyst. March 30, 2017.
Nick Ravich. Graffiti taught Eddie Martinez the values of painting fast. Art21. 2012.