Porterville's Cesar Martinez is the featured artist at the Portrville Art Association Gallery. Martinez was born in Porterville.

PAA vice president Che Hinojosa choose's PAA's featured artist every two months. Martinez visited the art gallery on Saturday’s for about a month. During that time, Martinez visited the art gallery during a general meeting.

After the meeting Hinojosa was told he had wanted to speak with her.

By the end of the week, he and Hinojosa had spoken on the phone. Hinojosa asked him to send her some of his artwork with a detailed description of how he became involved in art.

Hinojosa had seen similar artwork beforehand, therefore she asked Martinez who some of his favorite artists were and how they influenced his life. His response was Pablo Picaso and Jean-Michael Basquiat, both creative abstract expressionist who used vibrant colors.

Basquiat was an American artist. Picaso was a Spanish artist. Both artists devoted their artwork to modern art of symbolism and surrealism in the 20th century. Their impact on the art world involved the aesthetics of traditional African influence. In some artwork there are scenes of black heritage, exploration of subject matter, internal struggles of their past and present.

Both Picaso and Basquiat were artists who were noticeable by art historians as representatives of a particular genre, in which their creative career reached its height.

My art journey didn’t start until my sophomore year of high school,” Martinez said. “This is when I saw 'Guernica' by Pablo Picaso, which instantly slingshotted me into the world of art. Guernica had such an impact on me because it made such a bold statement and packaged it in a way that would force people to listen.

While doing research on Pablo Picasso, I found a quote of his that states 'Learn the rules like a pro, so that you can break them like an artist.' It was because of this quote that I started to teach myself human anatomy. I drew countless amounts of figures in an infinite amount of poses. I studied anatomical textbooks like 'Grey’s Anatomy' and 'Atlas of Human Anatomy,' making sure that I knew what I was drawing in depth.

After about a year of figure drawing, I started to feel as though I was coming to standstill with my art. It was around this time that I saw an untitled painting by Jean-Michael Basquiat. Basquiat’s artworks had some qualities as Picasso’s painting, except for the fact that Basquiat used bold and roughly applied colors as well as crude and disorienting figures to make his messages even more attention grabbing. Seeing that this is what encouraged me to switch over from drawing to painting and to truly start 'breaking the rules of an artist.'

Once I start painting, I found that my knowledge of art history, anatomy, and color theory helped me to push the limits of my art. For about a year now, I’ve been creating my artworks, and I do not have plans on slowing down.” Martinez is a graduate of Butterfield Charter High School in and plans on taking a year off from school. His artwork is currently on display at the Porterville Art Association 151 North Main Street until September10, Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

His reception is the same day as the art gallery Annual Judge Show reception on Friday July 30 from 5-8 p.m. These are free community events and open to the public. The Annual Judge Show categories are Acrylic, Ceramic, Chinese Brush, Graphics, Fabric, Mixed Media, Oils, Pastels, Photography, Sculptural, Textiles, and Watercolors.

Entries were received on Saturday July 10 and hung on Monday July 12. All work is original work by artist only; no assigned class work or works done in workshops were accepted.  

No copies of previously copyrighted work in any form were allowed. No copies of work done partially or totally by any commercial printing process were allowed.

No entries previously shown in a Porterville Art Association judged show were allowed. All entries must have been done within the last two years. All Judge Show art is currently on display at the art gallery until September 11.

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