"This is my interpretation of 'pintura en papel amate' or amate tree bark paper paintings from the states of Morelos and Guerrero in Central Mexico. I’m introducing the character of Coyote the Trickster into the format of these Otomi paintings.
"Coyote recognizes no borders. Coyote is part of this world as well as the cosmos and spirit worlds. Coyote, for me, symbolizes chaos, magic and growth and is an essential counterpoint to the natural order of things.
"When you get your print... you will quickly notice everything! This is a direct scan of the original gouache. You will see some pencil marks, rough edges, uneven lines, slight color variations... and that’s how you will know this was painted by an imperfect human. It is not an issue with the print. The prints are scary accurate! So bright and so crispy. This is not a digital image. This is not graphic design. This is painting. Handmade, imperfect and wonderful." –Jet Martinez
Oakland-based artist Jet Martinez (born 1973) is known for creating vibrant works of art that put a contemporary spin on folk art motifs. Originally from the small beach town of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, Martinez takes inspiration from his native culture’s rich traditions of pottery, weaving and embroidery. His latest murals enliven the rigid architecture of cityscapes with ornate patterns and entrancing, abstract visuals.
An influential figure in Bay Area public art, Martinez served as the director of San Francisco’s acclaimed Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) for 10 years from 2004 to 2014. His work with CAMP has been integral to the creation and preservation of public art in the Mission District, a historically Latino neighborhood known as a bastion for underground arts and culture.
Rhythmic, floral patterns unify Martinez’s various series of paintings from over the past 10 years. He predominantly works with acrylic paint and enamel on panel, rendering organic shapes that push the boundaries of form and color. Much like the craftspeople who create the ceramics and textiles that inspire him, Martinez prioritizes technical skill and embraces the imperfections of the handmade.
Martinez has exhibited in reputable galleries and art institutions nationwide, including Joseph Gross Gallery, 111 Minna Gallery, White Walls Gallery, Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Syracuse University and many others. He has painted murals in locales as diverse and Oaxaca and Zurich and created commissions for companies like Facebook, Hilton, Kiehl’s, John Fluevog and Redbull. Currently, he shares his Oakland studio with wife and fellow artist Kelly Ording and is focused on his muralism and studio practice full time.