Meet Valley artist Monica Aissa Martinez

Monica Aissa Martinez

Monica Aissa Martinez: Body Awareness in a New Light

By Nicole Royse

Photos courtesy of Monica Aissa Martinez

A fascination with the human body, animals, and technology and its effects on us as a society are the inspiration for the intricate paintings and drawings by talented local artist Monica Aissa Martinez. Martinez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in metals and ceramics from the University of Texas at El Paso and then a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis on drawing and printmaking from New Mexico State University.

Martinez’s artwork is a labor of love, with some pieces taking up to a year to complete. Utilizing organic and natural materials, she makes and uses casein and egg tempera instead of the traditional harsh chemicals found in store-bought materials. She cites her current inspiration as master artist and inventor as Leonardo da Vinci.

The work features recurring themes that focus on life studies like animals, insects, and humans. Her large-scale paintings such as Woman Front Body and Male Torso are fascinating studies of the human body. The female form as subject also appears in her self-portrait with her husband, Anatomy of Support Structures.. It depicts the male and female body and examines the roles they play within our world. This striking work was recently exhibited at the Monorchid in the acclaimed group exhibition Feminism Today.

Martinez has exhibited throughout the country, and her artwork is featured in numerous publications, most recently in the Huffington Post. Some of her work was hand selected and included in a major exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now featured significant contemporary artists from across the nation. Currently, Martinez’s paintings are included in an international group exhibition titled Between Earth and Sky: Contemporary Art from the Southwest, curated by Peter Held. The show is currently touring China and is slated to be exhibited at ASU in 2016. Her work will also be included in an August group exhibition in downtown Phoenix at Five15 Arts Gallery.

Monica Aissa Martinez continues to create a magnificent body of work—literally. Learn more about the artist and her work at



Heard gets heroic with Super Heroes: Art! Action! Adventure!

Check out the Heard Museum, a beautiful venue with 11 impressive galleries highlighting American Indian culture, history, and art. Through August 23, the museum is featuring Super Heroes: Art! Action! Adventure!, which showcases both old and new superheroes. This exciting family-friendly, interactive exhibition promises lots of fun, history, and entertainment. For more information, visit

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