Gabriela Martinez (Gabo Martini) was born in Tarimoro, Guanajuato, Mexico in 1995. She received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics from Texas State University in 2018. Her work has been exhibited in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Rockport and Houston, Texas. Martini’s work is inspired by indigenous Mexican and Native American visual traditions. Martini works with terracotta clay coated in vibrant slips reminiscent of the Mexican towns where she spent her childhood summers. She draws upon both traditional and contemporary motifs, using sgraffito to incise patterns and text into the surface of each form. She lives and works in Houston TX.
I was born in Tarimoro, Guanajuato, a town in the heart of Mexico surrounded by rolling hills and scenic valleys. Since moving to Texas, every summer of my childhood was spent visiting that provenance, tracing the streets paved with ancient terracotta bricks. The bordering buildings were painted with astonishing colors, a palette that was exotic yet familiar to me. These memories, and the act of carrying these memories, are the anchor of my practice.
I make ceramics, works on paper, and functional vessels inspired by indigenous Mexican and Native American visual traditions. My work is primarily wheel thrown, sometimes stacked to produce large forms. I glaze the pieces with vibrant slip and carve patterns into the surface. The repetition of carved shapes not only recalls the complex history of labor and production in Mexican craftwork, but also a sense of progress, meditation, and healing that is only possible over time. Acknowledging these themes is an offering of love to my viewer and to myself.
It is my goal to create a body of work that communicates how we manifest the stories, skills, and sanctity of the generations that came before us.