I met Jamie Martinez online. He’s a New York City-based, multi-talented artist www.jamiemartinez.net who is also founder of www.artfuse.com. His art work focuses on “Triangulism.” What’s that? Read on and find out …
MICHAEL: Hello Jamie, Your work is intriguing. I like the Triangulism. Is this something you're planning to pursue more of in the future? How did it come about for you?
JAMIE: I am the youngest of three children. Everything in my life is based on the number 3 which is visually expressed as a triangle. Geometry is the building block of life and I believe that triangles are the strongest and most important structure of all the geometric forms. I have always been obsessed with triangles and then one day I decided to start using them in my art and I liked it. I will always be doing this as long as a live. My whole life is based on Triangulism and proving its importance in contemporary art.
MICHAEL: For you, what is the importance of Triangulism specifically in contemporary art?
JAMIE: To influence other artists and hopefully become a movement.
MICHAEL: You seem to be influenced by Chuck Close in this regard. Who are some of your artistic influences and why?
JAMIE: I am influenced by Chuck Close especially in my latest work. My biggest influences are Picasso because of cubism, especially when he was using a lot more triangles in his work towards the end. I am also heavily influenced by Lyonel Feininger because of his great expressionist paintings mixed with geometric shapes, using mostly triangles. The current series I am working on is very influenced by Chuck Close because I am breaking the painting into separate paintings and then putting them back together, to get the image that I want to express. My work is a lot more linear than his which gives my work a bit more edge and a lot more structure since I am using only triangles of a specific color. Olafur Eliasson and Hans Haacke are also influencing my new collection of sculptures in which I am using liquids on Plexiglas, in a triangle. This came out of a recent sculpture I did made out of four plexiglass triangles that represented the four elements. One was with match-heads (fire), the second with salt water sand (earth and I used sand because I'm a surfer), then air in which I used an empty triangle with a hole in which I blow smoke to show the element and finally water (vodka because water goes bad) which was extremely difficult to seal, but I finally figured it out. I really love using liquids because it kind of controls the environment around, by sucking the energy and calming the atmosphere.
MICHAEL: I absolutely love your sculptural work. How do you determine whether to explore a concept sculpturally or on canvas? What's the criteria?
JAMIE: It really depends, but once I come up with the concept, I have to really think about the best way to express and execute the concept. I really like that I can use many more materials on my sculptures because anything can be used with many combinations of different materials. It also depends on the vision in my head. If it is more of an image, I would probably paint it. I am mostly a painter so most of my ideas will be executed in some form of painting, but now I am really starting to do some sculpting. I am currently working on water sculptures made with plexiglass which is very difficult because the piece has to be fully sealed and still look the way I expect which is not easy. I am working with all kinds of materials from synthetic (x-rays, Codeine, match-heads) to natural (sand, air, and light). It's a lot harder to use different materials on my paintings, but I'm trying to think outside the box.
MICHAEL: What's it like being an artist in NYC these days? Do you feel that New York is the center of the art world? How are you surviving there as an artist? New York is expensive and tough.
JAMIE: I love being an artist in New York City! New York is the center of the art world and I love all the great inspiration I get from other artists, art shows and all around the art scene. I love going to well-known and not so well-known galleries and seeing personally what is being shown, because to really get art, I think you have to see it in person. Networking is also extremely important in art, and to make it here, you have to get to know people who are in the game. You also never know who is going to become a great curator or gallerist, so I treat everyone with respect. It is very expensive to live here, I am very lucky to have a very good deal with my apartment so that allows me to focus more on my art and not so much on making money. You still have to make money here to survive and as you know, it's not easy selling art!
MICHAEL: What do you think needs to happen to make it easier for artists to sell their work these days? What needs to change?
JAMIE: That is a tough question. I think the Internet made it easier for us to reach our collectors and to create new collectors, but selling art is just not easy period. Even working with galleries doesn't guarantee any kind of sales. I think artists have to start taking matters into their own hands and figure out a way to reach the right clients directly, so we can lower our prices a bit since we won't have to split the sale with a gallery. The easiest answer is that we need more people to support the arts, instead of paying $6k for a couch, they should set aside a realistic budget for art.
MICHAEL: What is artfuse www.artfuse.com? Are you the founder and what do you hope to achieve with the site?
JAMIE: Arte Fuse is a website that covers the best contemporary art mainly focusing on the New York area. We go to as many shows as possible to give our viewers a curated perspective of the art scene. I founded the site about three years ago because I was already going to a lot of art shows, so one day I said to myself, let’s start a blog and here we are now. We get over 30,000 views per month and it keeps growing. We love to promote talented new artists who deserve attention and to let viewers see what kind of work is out there.
MICHAEL: Very cool. Jaime, the art world often appears closed and snobbish to many people who could potentially become art collectors and enthusiasts. What are your thoughts about this?
JAMIE: I’ve never understood this, but that is the way the art world operates. I see a lot of art shows and go to a lot of galleries and it blows my mind why people act this way. Whether it's a gallerist, art dealer, curator, press or artist, they think they are special and treat people like they don't exist. Art is for everyone and you never know who is going to become your collector or even just buy a piece and in New York, it's really hard to read people by their outfits or the way the look. I also meet a lot of successful people in the art world and what I've realized is that the big dogs always treat you nicer than the middle or small ones, I'm not sure why, but that is the way it is. I guess that's why they are successful because they keep all their options open and make the best of it. Remember that you need clients and people to support you, no matter what you do in art, so if you burn a couple of bridges, you never know when they will come back and bite you in the ass. I never take the art world too seriously; remember it's supposed to be fun!
MICHAEL: Absolutely. Thanks Jamie. This has been a pleasure.
JAMIE: Awesome Michael! Thanks a million. Great questions man!
Check out Jamie and his work at www.jamiemartinez.net.