Domingos Martins-Dance movement
Oil on canvas
€ 2.900

Domingos Martins


1953 Pinheiro-Brasil

The Netherlands

Art Academy Fortaleza-Brasil

After studying at the art academy in Fortaleze four years Domingos Martins ( Pinheiro , Brazil , 1953) began as a set designer in television. Because he wanted to qualify further as an artist , he moved to Rio de Janeiro to complete at the art academy in the Brazilian capital of his education. But it does not . Liked it there He was advised to go to Europe. In 1983 he established himself as an artist than in Amsterdam , where he took lessons for two years at the Rietveld Academy .
Initially his main inspiration Brazilian folk art . Later there influences from African and European art . Thereby made Martins ‘ style a development from figurative to a more abstracted figuration. Martins ‘ paintings are colorful and full of vitality . But though they cheerfully eyes , is nevertheless a melancholy mood of it.
This text is based on the text of Monique Hero in the SBK Amsterdam edition ‘ Windstreken IV .
Domingo Martins : a passionate artist
Domingo Martins, master in the art of living, exchanged his native country Brazil for Holland in 1983. Immediately after his arival he let Holland share in his wide range of talents. As a dancer he acted in a theatre group, as an energetic organizer he was the driving force of many Brasilian cultural events, in which especially the music and folklore of his motherland were brought out into th limelight. He was also the founder of Amsterdam Sambaschools ‘Salgueiro’ and ‘Manguera d’Amsterdam’. He designed choreographics and prize-winning constumes. And last but not least, he settled in Amsterdam as a visual artist.
In Holland Martins has become very much aware of being Brazilian. In his paintings he gives testimony of this. He drew his inspiration from the so-called folk art or primitive art. Later he also got influenced by African and European art, especially by the French artist of the first half of this century, of whose work beautiful examples can be found in the collections of the museums of São Paulo. There he first got aquanted with artists like Léger, Matisse, Picabia and Picasso.
In his native village Pinheiro, close to São Luís, the capital of Maranhão in the north-east of Brazil- thirteen thousend kilometres from Holland- he got in touch with local artists. His paintings from the seventies show the strong influence of his native and primitive painting-style from Maranhão. Martins painted folkloristic scenes with large groups of people, processions and parades. Crowds of poor people lost in the masses. He paints the people rather than the folklore. His people. They have no individuality , they look like the cogs in a machine, with no will of their own. His paintings from that time are a homage to the majority of the Brazilians: the poor, whom he belonged to himself. Martins misses their warmth and knows their suffering.
In the eighties his style becomes more colourful, more expressionist and more abstracted. But the human figure always remains recognizable. Attention is focused on one single figure in the painting. This is propably the influence of Holland with its individualism and need for privacy. In spite of the bright colours- especially red, yellow and blue- and the vitality that this recent paintings radiate, concentration and tranquility are prevalent. Or is it a seeming tranquility? One is struck by the eyes of stylized figures, the contour-lines and the hands. The fingers look cogwheels. Man as a part of machine, helplessly trapped in his surroundings. Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times’ revised by Domingo Martins.
From the crowd in the earlier paintings attention now turns to the tragedy of the individual. Martins ofen paints him as a robot-like stiff figure and thus refers to Léger’s paintings of workers. But ther is notthing of the glorification or optimism there is in Léger. It is rather wistfulness, melancholy and loneliness that are represented. Nostalgia for the tropics, for the green and yellow colours of Brazil? Martins paints moods. Woman is always the metaphor of thes feelings, the muse, for Martins. Woman as Maria, woman as the seducer, woman as the mother,as the symbol of security, as the symbol of the warmth of Brazil.
Beside his intuitive style of drawing with the quick contour-line, the colours bear an autonomous character.Martins’ paintings are about line, colour and feeling, about form and content, like all good art.
Paul Donker Duyvis