San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

Robert “Maja” Martinez

Robert MajaThe artist was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in September 1971. His talent as an artist was quickly recognized in elementary school and strongly encouraged by teachers and elders. Learning fast from a group of older university art students, young artist was eventually invited to paint on large projects such as the famous mural at UAS (University of Santo Domingo) where he worked with artist Silvano Lora (1931-2003).

In 1987, at age 16, he entered Bellas Artes of Santo Domingo to formalize his art education with a variety of courses including interior decorating, specialty techniques and mural painting. His predominant style of depicting natural Caribbean scenes in vibrant exhilarating colors emerged during this time. After graduating, he enjoyed three years as the official artist of the Dominican Presidency. In this capacity, he traveled the country creating captivating and inspiring murals at various youth education facilities across the Dominican. These popular murals were officially visited by the Dominican President and reported on in national media.

The artist moved to Madrid, Spain in 2001 where he was determined to deliver the essence of the Dominican Republic to Europe through his bold expressionistic paintings of landscapes and daily scenes. Entering fairs and winning contests, he earned broader renown in Madrid and Europe by holding three successful individual exhibitions in just four years. He painted invigorating, childlike images at multiple locations around Madrid and riveting landscapes on murals in Italy and Holland. He was also the sole Latin artist helping to paint the mural honoring the victims of the Madrid train bombings of March 11, 2004. Then, in 2006, he moved to the central coast of California to bring his art to America and continue translating his worldly inspirations into bold, powerful, vivid and emotion-filled artworks.

His Caribbean passion and soul flow through every brushstroke to produce canvasses and murals of bold intensity balanced by gentle emotion. The daily rhythms of island life are conveyed through his vibrant colors resting in a tropical balance between warmth and coolness, high tide and low and the sun and the moon. The voices, songs, and culture of the artist’s Caribbean heritage leap from his artwork to enliven the simple joys of living in every heart.