he intersection of art, social media and memes isn’t something very commonplace, but in recent years, the space has been evolving right alongside society’s continual fixation with platforms like Instagram and Facebook. One such artist implementing elements from internet culture into their works of art is Texas-based painter Mauro Martinez. By drawing inspiration from current events and social media to memes and internet lore, Martinez’s avant-garde artwork combines traditional oil painting with Plein air painting (the act of painting outdoors) to produce depictions of our current climate and experiences like no other. Martinez sat down with us to recap his history in the medium as we trace the origins of his internet experiences that influence his unique art style.

(Mauro Martinez posing with his painting “Good Fences.”)

Q: Hello, Mauro. Glad to have you on for an interview. So first things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and sort of introduce who you are and what it is that you do for those who aren’t familiar?

A: Firstly, I just want to say thank you for this opportunity. As you can probably imagine — it’s incredibly validating as an artist working with memes to be doing an interview with you guys. I grew up in Laredo, Texas, which is on the Texas-Mexico border, but I am currently living and working in San Antonio. My paintings range in style and subject matter but are ultimately my attempts at documenting the world around me. I’m also very fortunate in that painting is also my full-time job.

Q: You’ve been active in the art community for a number of years now, but can you take us back to your earliest days? How did you first get involved with art and what’s your background?

A: My great aunt was a librarian, and in her house, she had her own small library with an art section. Most of the art section contained how-to-draw books, and I remember very clearly that’s how I got my start. She was very proud and serious about…

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