Rapper-painter artist to speak about scrapping, Mayan deities


Nov. 12, 2010 at 5:12 a.m.

Vincent Martinez, a rapper-painter and former Victorian, will perform at the Victoria Art League on Sunday.

Vincent Martinez, a rapper-painter and former Victorian, will perform at the Victoria Art League on Sunday.

Socially-conscious rap, an art form called scrapping and Mayan deities, are on the to-do list for former Victoria resident Vincent Martinez' return visit to town.

The 28-year-old Austin-based artist will make a special appearance at the Victoria Art League on Sunday to do his first lecture.

"I don't often talk about my art to people, so it's also just a fun new exciting thing," he said.

Martinez will explain a collaborative art process he calls scrapping. The process involves artists passing around scraps of paper and adding to or changing the papers before passing it on to the next person.

"It's really to open it up. In art there doesn't have to be any rules as long as nobody's getting hurt," he said. "It's just really this indefinable thing to turn into whatever you want it to be."

Martinez attended high school in Victoria, where his former art teacher, Karen Burleson, nudged him to move from graffiti-based work to more formal techniques.

He became inspired to paint Mexican-infused work after visiting the country. Portraits of Mayan deities soon followed.

"It's really sort of caricature," he said, explaining the style. "They'd do really elaborate drawings of their headdresses or their gods or allegories of their stories, and so I've just taken that and added it to my own life to show how ancient art has inspired me." His rap skills also began in high school with an English assignment and were later polished in college through performances about social issues or his painting.

"It also helped me understand my art better," he said. "I could explain it to myself as well as others and I could explain through rhymes."

Martinez, an artist of many hats, works a full-time job tutoring and mentoring at-risk children in East Austin and manages to keep up his painting and performing passions on weekends.

"I know that I always have to make the work in order for the shows to start," he said. "I just try to work hard and be there at the art studio or music studio and be prepared for whatever it is people ask for me to do."



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