Jet Martinez covers the world around him in flowers. Based in Oakland, California, his colorful murals have graced the walls of many streets in the US and abroad, in cities like Oaxaca, Zurich, and Florianopolis. But whatever he does, flowers seem to be constant motifs throughout his work.
“For me, some of my first influences were murals, and I came up in that type of environment,” he told The Hundreds. “When I started painting murals, I was thinking about that work. I learned about graffiti culture later in my practice, but I’ve never been a writer. I know other friends who came up in strictly graff circles who knew all about that world, but then found out more about the mural masters later in their careers.”
With a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, Martinez’s murals are commissioned by brands like Facebook and Red Bull, meaning that he’s constantly working and on the go. “In my practice, I have realized, I want to make work that reminds the viewer of what it is that we are struggling for,” he says. “Not just the struggle, but also the reason for the struggle. I personally get excited when I see people doing amazing things in public space. To me, that’s the flavor of our country, so I try to participate in my community with my art, and that is my way to play a role in a social movement.”
His work blends into the environment but also serves to enhance it. Here are some prime examples: