IN HER OWN WORDS
My name is Elisabetta Martinez and I am a painter from Rome. I have dedicated my life to art since 1978, when my artistic education started in the art studio of my father, Maestro Luigi Martinez, in the town of Rignano Flaminio.
Back in those years, while attending painting, sculpture and etchings classes, I studied for my scientific high school diploma first, and later in 1989, graduated in Architecture at the University “La Sapienza" in Rome.
It was then that I started my career as an architect in my own studio in Rome, and, almost simultaneously, became a volunteer assistant at the Faculty of Architecture.
Between the years 1990 and 2001 I assisted about a hundred students, at first in architectural composition of the first and second year, and then in architectural design of the third, fourth and fifth year.
The passion for painting accompanied me all through those years, starting with the first drawings in pencil or ink, where I began experimenting and focusing on the theme of the face… They were essential and minimal representations, made of a few signs and shades. depicting sequences of overlapping and interlocking faces in a continuum of curved lines.
Oil paint and its fascination won me over only later and lead me to new pictorial experimentations, in the context of urban landscapes and figurative painting. My current works are the direct result of those early experiences; they speak of floating female figures, folded in onto themselves between “dream and reality”; faces, thoughtful and rapt in sleep; broken down and reassembled by geometric elements and “cuts” that interrupt the figurative continuity as to give a new interpretation of the form. “Geometries and Forms” are the themes of my studies and research and follow two expressive paths which I pursue simultaneously.
On the one hand, the study of the female human body folded in onto itself, absorbed in an inner space of meditation and sweet relaxation, interrupted in its formal continuity by overlapping ribbons and geometrical rhythms; never comprised in the reduced space of the canvas. The drawing remains a hint, unfinished, abstract, leaving large parts of the canvas incomplete and borderless.
On the other hand, I focus on works based on archetypal forms, mysterious primitive and symbolic figures appear on informal backgrounds… Traces, footprints of timeless deities, defined by large and rich color drafts. Figures inspired by the giants of Nemrut Dagi in Turkey; by the temples of Bayon in Cambodia; by the cyclopic sculptures of Egyptian art and the Great Buddhas.
This process takes place through an endless depiction which allows the gaze and the mind the chance of reading an image, outlined by open and dynamic structures, where we can grasp something unseen; something we have inside and that can only be decoded by our inner gaze.
In my latest works I am experimenting with the construction of the urban landscape of Rome, interpreted and summarized in its primary compositional signs and elements; sectioning and reassembling it starting from its founding elements; arches, domes, wall segments, blocks and marble slabs, always searching for a concise and summarizing depiction of the forms. The use of pure oil paint, applied in subsequent sequences and overlays, creates nuances, textures and transparencies…the charcoal often remains as a trace of what was the initial sketch or as a glaze that messes the color…small gold or silver leaf applications widen the reading planes, and the spatula is the main tool of the creative gesture.
Exhibitions & Acknowledgments
I have been exhibiting for a few years now in galleries and group shows in the squares of the historic center in Rome, from Via Margutta to Piazza di Spagna; from Piazza Trilussa to Borgo Pio, and also with leading artistic clubs such as the Associazione Cento Pittori di Via Margutta, Alternativa ’94 and Escidicasa Arte.