Artist Spotlight | Julian Martinez

One of our favorite parts of working with artists is learning about their inspirations and creative process. We're starting 2024 off with a deeper dive into Colombian artist, Julian Martinez's creative process! Enjoy the scoop and his latest collection of icon-inspired works.  

Meet Julian

Julian Martinez developed an appreciation for art as a child through newspapers, cartoons, and comics. Growing up in Medellin, he studied drawing, watercolor, and pastels at the District School of Art EDA and in Houses of Culture. He later earned his MFA from the University of the Atlantic. 

His artistry has turned from cartoons and caricatures to realistic and surrealist paintings. Influenced by conceptual art, graffiti, and art history, Martinez often depicts “globalized” events. Political commentary and societal epidemics are interpreted through the lens of this worldly artist. 

Miller Gallery: When did you first start painting?

Julian Martinez: I can remember at an early stage in my life being able to paint before learning how to write. It comes from deep within my soul.

MG: How do you choose your portrait subjects?  

JM:  I tend to choose my subjects based on the visual impact they have on me.

MG: Do you use models or reference photography?

JM:  I use photographs as a reference.

MG: We notice a lot of British royalty in your work, what draws you to these themes? Is there a message behind the pieces?

JM: First, there is the use of universally recognizable figures. A second element is the meaning behind the series on art and reading's role in battling banality, perhaps not of each character in themselves, but rather the lightness surrounding the attention that the general public devotes to showbiz and Jetset. And finally, there is the anachronism related to figures that one would suppose have no place in modern society.

 MG: What is your studio like? Do you paint from home, or do you prefer a separate workspace?

JM:  I work from an atelier at home, almost always playing music.

MG: Do you have a favorite painting medium? A favorite color to use?

JM: I love working with oil and acrylics and have been drawn to black, pink and grey palettes. 

 MG: What are your goals for the new year?

JM: I've got a couple of new series brewing, and I intend to continue developing the topic of the Power of Art.

Thank you for tuning in to our deep dive with Julian Martinez! You can explore more works from Julian here

For any inquiries, please email