Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aaron Martinez - friend to cats everywhere

First off, to get this out of the way and in the open, Aaron Martinez is my brother. You could say I've known him a long time. And in that time, he's always been drawing. Always, always, always. He's probably drawing something right now, on a napkin at a restaurant, taking in the conversations around him and forming them into a visual narrative. And its probably also a good bet that there will be a cat in there somewhere.

In Aaron's work, you'll find a reflection of the world around him, through an imagination influenced by such elements as comic books, prowrestling, sci-fi aliens and robots, saturday morning cartoons, LA culture, NBA basketball, mexican culture and food, dinosaurs, low riders, classical art, video games, and of course, cats. To look into Aaron's work is to flow down the stream of his thoughts and see all the combinations of these elements interlocked together. And it all surprisingly fits. It makes sense in these combinations.
thelastcat: How long have you been doing art? (pretend I don't know)

Aaron: I've been doing art for a really, really, long time. Since I was a little niƱo. I always loved drawing and it's all I ever wanted to do. I bet most artists share this same exact story. To keep it short, I'm just going to say that I attribute my love for art to having a creative and supportive family. If my family didn't encourage me as a child I wouldn't have kept drawing and who knows what I would be doing right now. Maybe I'd be working at the Blockbuster Video in South Pasadena, I don't know.

thelastcat: Except all the Blockbusters are closed now, so you'd be out of a job!

thelastcat: Talk about your use of art in the professional world. What have you been doing for work, and what have you been doing lately?

Aaron: I've been working in the Fashion Industry for the last 10 years. I started as a Graphic Designer at a sporting goods company in Burbank, called Buddy's All Stars, where my Dad works. Since then I've worked as a Graphic Designer for Element Skateboards, Forever 21, and currently I'm an Art Director and Designer for the band Odd Future. From creating a clothing and merchandise collection to designing album art, websites, and tour flyers, my job keeps me super busy. When I'm not working I'm hanging out and having fun with my girlfriend, Hilliary, all my friends, my family, and my two cats; Chico and Chyna.

thelastcat: What is the story behind Los Gatos? How did you come up with them?

Aaron: Los Gatos! Los Gatos is my made-up kitty cholo gang inspired by the stray cats of Los Angeles. These cats don't care about anything but living la vida loca. Haha!

 thelastcat: What mediums did you use for these pieces in the show?

Aaron: I used pen & ink and colored pencils for THE LAST CAT show pieces. I like the bold contrast of black and white and the texture that I can get from fine pencil work. I'm inspired by Comic Book Art, Tattoos, and Lowriders.

 thelastcat: Whats the story behind werewolf boy? And robot kitty?

Aaron: Werewolf Boy is one of my alter egos. I made a portrait of him during his (and certainly my own) High School awkward phase, Junior Year. When I see werewolves in TV shows and movies they're always super buff and good looking guys with awesome powers. I'm more interested in hearing about a down-to-earth, nerdy, greasy haired, outcast - overly stressed from being a teen AND a wolf. 

Robo Kitty has it rough. Nobody wants a Robot Kitty! He lacks all the characteristics that make soft, furry, kitties cute! Poor Robo Kitty - he's on an endless journey to find meaning and purpose for his existence. Who made him? If he's a robot why does he need to nap most of the day?

thelastcat: What was the motivations behind the Batman piece, and the 'minds playing tricks on me piece'(the piece above with the guy smoking)? They both seem to carry deep thinking within them.

Aaron: The 'Batfriend' piece is sort of a self portrait. I'm realizing that most of these pieces are. I can draw characters to illustrate different parts of myself. Batfriend is a 'Kick Ass' type of character who dreams of becoming a real super hero but lacks any traditional super heroic qualities.

'My Minds Playing Tricks On Me'  shows my stream of consciousness. This piece turned out to have a made-for-tv horror vibe so I gave the main character a Freddy Krueger crewneck sweatshirt and filled the background with cutey monsters, unsung villains, and other shady deviants.

Aaron Martinez's recent art can be seen in The Last Cat art show, now at The Arsenal in San Jose. Or seen online at http://www.thearsenalsj.com/show-catalog/
Email me at luke@thelastcat.com if you're interested in a piece.
And you can see Aaron's work anytime you see something from Odd Future, or for that matter, anytime you see something from The Last Cat.

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