I grew up in a family of artists, my father René Martinez Sopeña studied sculpture in the Academy of San Alejandro, the oldest fine art institution in Cuba; my brother Rene Martínez Ramos who was born four years earlier, also studied painting at the same place. My uncle Hector Martínez Calá was a sculptor with several permanent pieces at the Museum of Fine Art in Havana, and my uncle Sergio Martínez Sopeña became one of the most recognizable sculptors in Cuba, as well as a professor at The National School of Arts.
So, in this environment filled with art shows, art appreciation and talented people I was born in November of 1964.
I followed two great masters during my childhood, one of them was my father and the other one my brother, a fantastic artist. We both spent a lot of time "competing" to see who could outdraw the other.
I graduated as a professor of painting and drawing from The National School of Art in Havana, after eight years of studies. During the late 80’s an old school friend introduced me into a small group of artists who were selling their artworks at the Cathedral Square of Havana, at that moment I rediscovered the beauty of creating through brushes, canvas and colors and once more since graduating and in that moment, I started to paint.
After looking for a way of expressing myself in my own style and going through different stages, I finally hit the mark sometime in 1993. By that time, I began developing the Yuri Martínez style you can see today, an evolution of more than 20 years.
During all these years I have been doing several exhibitions in different cities and countries but the most important was “Dream of The Distant” my first presentation at Papillon Gallery in Los Angeles which marked the beginning of my career outside of Cuba and the first step to reaching one of my life goals, coming to the United Sates. This dream came true in September 2000.
Today I have been immersed in American society and culture, so today I not only depict Cuban dreams and fantasies in my paintings, but also the dreams and fantasies of the American society.
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