Antonio Martorell

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Artist Statement:
Art is My work (and I mean work in its most literal sense) deals with who we are here and now. I try my best to learn through representing and interpreting the realities and dreams, the blessings and misfortunes of being a Puerto Rican in this conflictive world. I claim and proclaim our inheritance as colonial citizens of the world taking and transforming into line and color, word and image, rhythm and melody, picture and performance that which catches the eye, insults our sense of justice, provokes questions and commands answers. Art is a vehicle of knowledge, a creative quest for freedom, a playful activity involving very serious challenges. It is both an individual and collective act of growth through never ending revelations accepting accident and incorporating it as the gift of the unexpected, the unplanned birth of a new idea. Being an artist is neither a choice nor a vocation, but a vital necessity in order to overcome the inequalities of belonging to an emerging nation that has survived over five centuries of colonial rule first under Spain and then the United States. The sovereignty of art knows no limit, accepts no boundaries. Art itself is a state of freedom creating its own space and time, defining rules, feeding on tradition in order to go forward, a net less trapeze act of faith knowing no certainties and risking everything. Art is neither national nor international. Art is.
Relationship to Chicago:
Living and working in Chicago I became immersed in the Puerto Rican, Latino, and academic community and learned firsthand from its relationship to each other and to Puerto Rico. I was an artist in residence at the Institute of Puerto Rican Art & Culture, now The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture at Northwestern University. In both venues I held workshops and produced exhibitions of woodcut installations. It was not my first experience in the city. Back in the 80’s I had an exhibition of my work at the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and lectured at the School of the Chicago Art Institute. In the 90’s, I had an exhibition at the Gallery of the Cultural Void of the itinerant show titled, "Comounión", on behalf of the liberation of the Puerto Rican political prisoners. I have participated in three print portfolios for the Arceo Press: one about Latino immigration, the Posada portfolio and the Superstitions collection recently printed. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture has a permanent installation of the Veveviejo print series. In September 2016, I will be hosted and given de Ceiba Award together with Lin Manuel Miranda at The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture’s Gala, a recognition to my work that is deeply appreciated.
Year of Birth:
Country of Origin:
Puerto Rico
Places Of Residency:
Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Boston, MA; San Juan, PR; Ponce, PR; Mexico, Italy, Spain.
Art Form:
Drawing, Installation, Painting, Printmaking.