International Museum of Art to host UTEP student


“Autorretrato” courtesy of Jorge E. Martinez

Jake Deven, Entertainment Editor

Editor’s Note: Quotes from Jorge Martinez were translated from Spanish to English.

As fostering as UTEP is for art students, many find it humbling and rewarding to be able to present their work to the public. For junior graphic design major Jorge E. Martinez, on Sept. 8 to Oct. 3 at the El Paso International Museum of Art, he might come to understand that feeling first hand as he presents his collection, “The Life of J”.

Martinez originally submitted his drawings to be displayed at the Rubin Center but ended up being selected to participate in the 51st Arts International Exhibition 2018. Martinez says that despite having an interest in simple art, he is passionate about making the audience feel something when analyzing his work.

“I really enjoy abstract and minimalist art, I like when art is simple but still carries a message,” Martinez said. “I don’t want it to be easy for the audience. I want them to wonder what I was thinking when I created my paintings and to reflect, then have their own interpretation.”

One of Martinez’s exhibits, which is to be displayed at the Glass Gallery from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, showcases his take on life and death. He calls it “Memento Mori,” describing his work as  a way of encouraging people to live their lives as naturally as possible while encouraging conversation about both the mortality of human life and the falsified idiom of immortality by pop culture.

“The majority of my art represents the human experience,” Martinez said. “I want people to look at my art and notice how we relate to one another.”

Martinez initially started painting at a young age, but wasn’t able to fully enjoy his passion until  high school. Being a bilingual student, he was limited to certain Spanish-speaking classes, in which art was not one of them. His work reflects his love and passion for every memory that lives in each painting.

“Before, my art used to be really sad. Now, it’s really about having a positive outlook on life,” Martinez said. “I really just found a way to occupy my mind and use my creativity so that I wouldn’t become bored or dull.”

Martinez says that much of his inspiration comes from a time in his life when he was being treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Much of what’s depicted in his art is the message of renovation or starting fresh.

“I’m just having fun. I try to make sure the pieces I put out represent how I feel at that moment,” Martinez said.