Tomasa Martín

Art has the ability to lift you up and transport you to another dimension, while every day, life tries to put your feet on the ground.

––Tomasa Martín, Painter

Barcelona-based artist Tomasa Martín creates atmospheric portraits that capture figure poetically. Her subjects––schoolchildren, stacks of books, shoes––are elevated with whispered emotion and vibrating intimacy. There is a calming quietness in her work, one that radiates with the familiar energy of everyday life. Martín’s minimalist paintings beckon with the heartbreak and comfort of routine. 

Tomasa Martín was born in Zamora, Spain. At age 18 she moved to Barcelona, ​​where she first came in contact with Salvador Dalí's work. She was struck by it––she points to this moment as the driving force behind her decision to paint. Martín studied art at La Escola Massana in Barcelona and began her artistic career shortly thereafter. Art critic Josep Maria Cadena credited Martín as “the creator of a particular surrealism”. Her work has since evolved into a study of the human being, focusing on the sensual beauty in the mundane. In the same way that Spring is surprisingly beautiful every year, Martín sees people in their daily lives as endlessly unexpected. By painting everyday portraits with dreamy emotion, she offers a fresh, almost childlike perspective on the familiar. The minimalist nature of the works, many with plain or slightly textured backgrounds, offers deeper focus and intimacy with the viewer. Martín says she paints because she has to. It has become a tool to express her excitement, depression and annoyance––the ups and downs that characterize the human experience. She uses acrylics and oil simultaneously, preferring to work on linen or wood.

Martín’s work is held in private and public collections internationally and has been exhibited regularly in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. since 1990. She exhibited at the Natsu Gallery in Tokyo, took part in the Contemporary Art Fair in Lille, and won the Juan Ramón Masoliver national painting prize in Barcelona.