CARLOS MARTINEZ: To describe the type of work I do, has never been something that I've found as easy.  I think the day I can describe my work well, is the day I've come to some sort of end or terms with it, which for me isn't ideal if that makes any sense, but it doesn't seem to fit comfortably or completely with other genres I've seen, so I leave that part up to the viewer or someone else.  Although I've heard my work described in a wide range of many different things, from political to low brow so, all it does is confuse me.  I guess it all depends on where you're standing and with who.  As long as I'm doing the 'type' of fulfilling art that moves me or hopefully anyone else in any type of way, that's the  'type' that is good enough for me . 

AOTCE: What type of art do you do?  Representation, abstract, etc.  What is your subject matter?

CARLOS RAMIERZ: The subject matter in my work is not limited too, but has usually been anything that takes me out of my norm.  From the slightly different or intriguing to the emotionally provocative.  My work for me, usually comes from people or the human condition comparative to a car wreck, no one can usually look away.  As of lately, most of my subject matter has stemmed from the brazen social climate that has created political, racial and social boundaries that seems to be becoming more and more defined each and every day unfortunately.  The circumstances have definitely taken me out of my norm and I feel a moral obligation, to not do the worse of me and stay quiet and approach it the best way I know how visually. 

AOTCE: What is your medium of choice and do you use more than one?


CARLOS RAMIERZ: I use a wide variety of mediums from spray paint to paint markers, anything that suits that specific cause at that moment.   I tend to rely heaviest on found and discarded objects like bottle caps to discarded pieces of plastic like bread clips or paper, and with the abundance of trash around us, and todays ecology, the environment, there is something about being able to give the objects some type of value and giving it back to the same people who threw it.

AOTCE: Do you create regularly?  How often?


CARLOS RAMIERZ: There is the whole business side of what I do also, so I try to approach it with discipline and approach the creative process the same way as I would any 8 to 5 so usually I am creating everyday for the most part .




Interview by AOTCE staff:

ARTISTS ON THE CUTTING EDGE: When did you first become involved with the arts? 

CARLOS MARTINEZ: One of my first memories of doing art was as a young child. Being the youngest of 3, and of migrant working parents, I had to go to work, at times, out in the vegetable and fruit fields, mostly grape fields.  My mother would give me those red 'big chief ' drawing pads to keep me busy. So I think its safe to say I've been involved with the creative process or 'art' most of my life.  As a working artist officially with established galleries I would have to say I became a working artist around the mid 90s.

ARTISTS ON THE CUTTING EDGE: What type of art do you do?  Representation, abstract, etc.

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AOTCE: What is your motivation?  Are you compelled to do this type of work? Is it work or expression?


CARLOS RAMIERZ: I think the human connection has a huge part in my motivation , to me personally there is something crazy in being able send or give a message visually thru the art on it's own feet that can ring profound in someone else without ever saying a word or being there , that to me is motivation.

One of the things that I find moves and compels me is knowing that in this day at an age, what I am capable of achieving artistically in the pursuit of any certain positive outcome, to not do it would be close to sinful.  Aside from my art being a passion and expression, I also see it as both work and at times of change a sense of duty .

AOTCE:  What advice would you give someone who may be interested in doing the work you do?


CARLOS RAMIERZ: The only advice I could give to anyone wanting to do work like what I'm doing would be to expect an interesting ride.  For any type of work they follow, for that matter, keep busy till you recognize every nook and cranny , work through all your mistakes, because that may be where you might find the most intriguing value and find yourself.  Most important, be self, morally authentic and the rest will follow.   

AOTCE: Did you have a mentor or do you mentor others?


CARLOS RAMIERZ:  I do, and I have mentored younger artists.  I also have a mentor that has always guided me in recognizing what is nonsense and what's important.


AOTCE:  Do you have any art shows coming up?


CARLOS RAMIERZ: I do have a show right around the corner with thinkspace projects in Culver City along with a mural project with the Lancaster Museum of art and history

AOTCE: Do you work from a studio?

CARLOS RAMIERZ: I do work from a studio here in the Coachella valley.

AOTCE: Where can your work be seen?  

CARLOS RAMIERZ: My latest work can be seen online with thinkspace projects, or on I.G.  @c.ramirez2323 I am affiliated with several galleries like thinkspace gallery, new image art in Los Angeles on the west coast and with Jonathan Levines in N.Y. 

AOTCE: Who are your greatest influences whether they are in the arts or not?

CARLOS RAMIERZ: Some of my greatest influences have been from history all the way to my immediate surrounding, anyone with good moral compassion and direction, from my mother to Martin Luther King or Cesar Chaves.

AOTCE: Thank you Carlos for taking the time to be a part of this experience.

CARLOS RAMIERZ: The pleasure was all mine!

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All artwork remains the rights of the artists and may not be duplicated without the express consent of the artists.