Wyoming Arts Council


Robert Martinez was born in Wyoming amidst the Wind River Reservation in the small city of Riverton. He grew up a part of many different cultures as his lineage is Spanish, Mexican, Scotts Irish, French Canadian and Northern Arapaho. He graduated High School at 17 and through a scholarship attended the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Painting & Drawing and minoring in sculpture, in 3 years and at age 19, becoming the Youngest Native American to graduate from RMCAD at that time.
As he was brought up in the center of the reservation, his native heritage remains a constant inspiration and source of ideas for his work. Living in Wyoming among the hard working people of the west and experiencing their issues also deeply influence his creations. The past and present often resonate strongly in Wyoming and those historical chords echo throughout his work.
Much of Robert’s current work uses the historical imagery, myth’s and stories of the West & Arapaho Culture to create images that have a statement on the issues of today. Using intense vibrant color and contrasting shades of light and dark, he paints and draws striking imagery that is confronting and engages the viewer.
The renaissance masters and their work with the figure, contemporary fantasy illustration’s heroic images, & native artists’ use of color have deeply influenced Robert’s style. Robert often sketches his idea into a complete finished pencil drawing making it an exquisite piece in its own right. Further exploring his themes, He uses the contemporary airbrush to create a richly hued under-painting in acrylic. Using classic oil painting and techniques, he stresses the often pure color glazes to reinforce the play of light and dark in his paintings.