An influential figure in Bay Area public art, Oakland-based artist Jet Martinez (b. 1973) is known for creating vibrant works of art that engage the traditions of Mexican folk art with contemporary aesthetics. Originally from the small beach town of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, and raised in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Martinez takes inspiration from his native culture’s rich traditions of pottery, weaving, and embroidery, enlivening the rigid architecture of urban environments with ornate patterns and abstract forms.
A fellow of the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, CA with his wife, Kelly Ording, Martinez’s work has been exhibited internationally at Joseph Gross Gallery, 111 Minna Gallery, White Walls Gallery, Museo de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, and Syracuse University, among others. His murals have been commissioned in locales as diverse as Oaxaca, New Orleans, Brazil, and Zurich, and by the San Francisco Arts Commission/San Francisco General Hospital, the cities of Denver, Colorado and San Jose, California, and companies such as Facebook, Hilton, Kiehl’s, John Fluevog and Red Bull.
Martinez served as the director of San Francisco’s acclaimed Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) for ten 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.