Art at Morton College. Alfredo Martinez

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Born in Venado, San Luis Potosi Mexico.  Alfredo Martinez received his bachelors of fine arts degree in 1987 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago He’s participated in numerous art shows in the Chicago area, as well as in regional and national art exhibitions and competitions. Martinez received The “ Curator award” in a national exhibition and competition at the “Wedge Gallery “ in Rochester, New York in 1988.

Upcoming Exhibitions:
Ormond Memorial Art Museum, Ormond Beach, Florida June 13- August 25
Nicolas de Jesus and Alfredo Martinez. Prospectus Art Gallery, Pilsen  September
Prairie Center for the Arts, Schaumburg  October
Prospectus Art Gallery, Pilsen  October
Beverly Art Center, Chicago December


About the work

I was a student at the School of he Art Institute of Chicago when I happened to see this great exhibit of Mexican masks in the school gallery. It was a big show organized by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum. All the pieces were a compilation from Chicago area private collectors. They were hundreds; all one of a kind. The great majority made out of wood, some incorporating other materials like leather, tin ,hair etc.

At the time I was working at a printed circuit boards factory setting up and operating machines, where I saw a machine repair man discarding a metal piece from an old motor. I picked up the piece and  saw a “face” in need of some surgery. Using a black marker, I outlined the shape and features of a face and with a set of files, drill and bits, and hack saw, I started to define this mask.

I occasionally I find a piece of scrap metal or discarded object that I can turn into a mask. An old liquid soap dispenser, faucet  from my bathroom, or a piece of rusted steel found on a Chicago street etc. Currently, I’m using bolts, screws, nuts and all kinds of metal objects for eyes, noses, mouths etc. Some faces are more challenging, yet others may require only eyes, a nose or mouth. Sometimes I feel that these displaced pieces are waiting for me to rescue them, to inject “life” to them, to give them a second chance for their continuity, or “reincarnation” this time in the form of “faces.”

You can view Alfredo’s Work at Morton College. 3801 S. Central Avenue, Cicero, Illinois 60804. Building C Second floor, across from the Student Union. This exhibition is free and open to the public.

Curated by Diana Gabriel

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