Martin Domiguez Ball is an artist, musician, teacher, husband, father, friend and neighbor to many of us in Warwick, NY. Open, passionate and genuinely interested he is; in his work, his personal life and in how he brings art and creativity to the Warwick community.
He is also Village of Warwick’s 2015 Artist in Residence…a well deserved appointment, as those of us who know him would heartily agree. His work is animated, vibrant, alive and certainly varied in form, function, style and medium. His heartfelt, inspired expressions tell a visual story and our interview answers some of our questions…
SAC ~ Tell me first a little about your history – anything you would like our readers to know…
Martin ~ I was born and raised in Uruguay, South America. Making art, playing music and building things was always a big part of my life. When I was younger I would often sit at the table and draw cartoons or play piano for hours. I’ve always truly enjoyed every aspect of art. At age 15 my parents decided to come to the United States. Life in the US proved to be quite difficult for many years, but art was always there for me as an escape route. Playing guitar became a big part of my art practice through some hard times. Later, I formed an original Latin fusion band called “Larrama” performing in venues throughout New York City as well as festivals and other places in the Tri-State area. My paintings, drawings and sculptures have been well received in galleries in NYC and beyond in solo shows and group exhibitions. Now I continue to develop my personal art practice as well as my professional practice as a graphic designer and college professor.
SAC ~ Tell us about the kind of art you make or take part in…
Martin ~ I must say, I love all different kinds of art and art practices. I am a multi-disciplinary artist. I love to paint, draw, make sculptures, play music, making my ink on wood designs, graphic design and film. Film making was something I explored while working on my MFA and has become a big part of my art practice.
SAC ~ What was your motivation for making art?
Martin ~ I believe I was born with the need to create things. From a young age I was always drawing or make things in my grandfather’s workshop. At one point I was obsessed with the Pink Panther and drew it over and over again. I must say, I drew a pretty good Pink Panther. I guess my motivation was the absolute pleasure and peace I got out of creativity.
SAC ~ Who are your favorite artists and what about their work do you love?
Martin ~ My favorite artists are Rembrandt, Artemisia Gentileschi, Salvador Dali and multi-media artist William Kentridge, just to name a few. I love their passion and dedication to their craft as well as the way I feel when I look at their art. They all tell powerful stories with their work in their own unique ways.
SAC ~ Is there anyone who particularly has influenced your work?
Martin ~ Not anyone in particular, however, looking and learning about different kinds of art and artists has, and continues to inspire me. So I guess if knowledge was a person, she influenced my work.
SAC ~ What about the process is the most fun? What is the most satisfying part of the process for you?
Martin ~ I love the idea of materializing something that I have envisioned with my mind’s eye. I feel as if I can reach into my head, pick out a project and work on it so that later on I can physically hold it in my hands. This piece of art that only existed in an intangible dimension now asserts its presence occupying real space in real time. That fascinates me. I also like that while making art there is no such thing as a mistake, but rather an exciting opportunity for a different outcome. I believe it’s best to let art lead the way and dictate the outcome, instead of trying to control and hinder its inventiveness.
SAC ~ What is the most difficult part of the process?
Martin ~ The most difficult part for me is abandoning the idea of perfection.
SAC ~ What motivates and inspires you to do the work?
Martin ~ At all times, I literally have tons of ideas for art projects; my motivation is the need to see them come to fruition. Another thing that motivates me is the different ways in which we can use art as a tool to raise awareness on issues of concern; not to seek acceptance but the willingness to converse and inspire change.
SAC ~ Is there anything else would you like to say about what you do?
Martin ~ For me art is not just something I do, but a way of life. Without art life would be bland and boring.
SAC ~ What else are you involved in that you would like others to know about…
Martin ~ I now teach art and graphic design at St. John’s University and SUNY Orange. Also, I have a mutual project with my wife Joan Ball called Story Solutions Group, where through storytelling and visual communications we help individuals or companies take their business to the next level. Currently, I am honored to be Artist in Residence in Warwick, NY and will be working on a year-long project.
For more about Martin Dominguez Ball visit his website here: www.martindb.com
Visit his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/martin.dominguez?fref=ts