Luis Martínez Pedro


Luis Martínez Pedro - Latin Art Core

Luis Martinez Pedro (1910-1985), dark, gritty, and full of beautiful Cuban imagery, Luis Martínez Pedro was a highly accomplished Abstract Expressionist artist.

Schooled at San Alejandro, Pedro also studied in New York in 1932. He eventually moved to New Orleans where he ended up living for many years. While in there, Pedro also studied the Creole community in New Orleans, and quite obviously influenced his oeuvre.

Like fellow Cuban artist Rene Portocarrero, Pedro often used the rooster in his compositions. A symbol of power as well as a familiar symbol in both Cuban and Creole cultures, roosters became a dominant and colorful symbol in his work. Sometimes Pedro portrayed roosters in mixed media in a realistic fashion, other times in vibrantly colored Abstract like "El Gallo" (1949).

Unlike many artists of his day, Pedro would typically used mixed media's to create his compositions: gouache, ink, charcoal, crayon, watercolors and more. Rarely did he use oil paints. This gives his work a very gritty and earthy look.

Along with his Abstract and Expressionist compositions, Pedro also used Cubist styling in some of his ink drawings. He would also portray Cuban people in groups, relaying a social message. "Trabajadores" (1936) in particular featuring workers with their fists raised high is hued in "Lapiz Sanguine" or red crayon or pencil for a blood-like effect.

Along with being an artist, Pedro also worked for the advertising agency Mestre and Company in 1935. His work was exhibited all over the United States during his lifetime, from New Orleans to Tampa and New York, and all over South America as well. It is likely that some of his advertising work still exists today, unauthenticated, and his travels made it likely that his work is privately owned outside of Cuba.