The Creator Of Verdadism Art Style, Painting Juxtapose with Written Social Commentaries
Soraida Martinez is a Puerto Rican artist who is known as the creator of Verdadism, a form of hard-edge abstraction in which paintings are juxtaposed with social commentaries. Soraida was born in New York City and is also a graphic designer specializing in corporate literature. Soraida studied art at Rowan University, where she majored in fine art with a specialization in design and graduated in 1981; she also holds a Liberal Arts degree focusing on psychology.
Soraida calls her art style Verdadism because her paintings are accompanied by her written social commentaries, which are based on her personal life experiences. Soraida has gained recognition and received many awards for her unique thought-provoking and visually-stimulating art style, which she created in 1992 and which addresses issues of sexism, racism and stereotyping while seeking to promote a deeper understanding of the human soul and tolerance. Soraida and her art have been featured in many magazines and newspapers, as well as on radio and television; and, she also served as a member of the New Jersey State Council On The Arts. Through her art, Soraida is an activist and humanitarian who visits young children in schools in order to encourage and inspire them to strive to achieve their fullest potential. She is frequently asked to do workshops on her Verdadism art and philosophy at colleges and universities.
Soraida's paintings address a wide range of social and personal issues. Though most viewers gravitate towards the powerful colors and unique abstraction of her style, the images also depict racism, sexism and other life experiences. As Soraida says, "this is a long overdue perspective of what has always been, until now, a silent voice in America...the Puerto Rican woman. This art comes from my struggle against society's shackles."
At present, Soraida is an advocate and activist for the arts and humanity. In 1997, she was appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, where she remained a member until 2000. In 1998, Soraida was also part of a creative think tank formed by the New Jersey State Museum for the purpose of bringing the museum into the 21st century.
Since 1994, Soraida has been performing Verdadism exhibitions and workshops at colleges and universities. Some of the places where exhibitions of Soraida's Verdadism art have been shown include Columbia University in New York City, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia, The University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, Trinity College in Connecticut and Towson University in Maryland. Soraida is also working on designing a series of large-scale Verdadism sculptures, one of which she completed in 1997 and is dedicated to the importance of education.
"My style is bold images with bold statements, both of which have been
influenced by my versatile background in art and design. My intent is to make
the viewers think for themselves and become more aware of labeling and
personal issues. I elongate limbs to show the awkwardness of human beings and
use blocks as hands to symbolize the doubting human soul. The fractured
images, which I create by blocking areas with different colors, show the
uneasiness of the human personality.
I am an artist, a woman, a designer and a business owner. I come from Harlem
and I've spent most of my life in mainstream America. I feel that my
multicultural background, combined with diverse life experiences, are what
give me a unique perspective. My struggle is for recognition, acceptance and
inclusion, as well as against racism, sexism and the dominant male society -
which never expected much from me, but still did not allow my voice to be
heard. My art reflects the essence of my true self and the truth within me.
My belief is that one must empower oneself with one's own truth and go for
it. This is why I call my art...Verdadism."
Soraida Martinez - Creator of Verdadism
Learn More About Verdadism at WWW.SORAIDA.COM
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