Rita Martorell

At first glance, the erotic images of the young Catalan painter, Rita Martorell, are disturbing since they imply two meanings, simultaneously. This converts its reading into a challenging interactive interpretation experiment which is all the more fascinating because the digitally altered images are based on photographs of real things and of real people transformed by the artist’s imagination. Therefore, this double significance duplicates itself, leading to a combination of interdependent meanings.

The large-format works encompass suggestive multivalent images whose interpretation depends on the subjective psychology and the experience of the viewer. It involves photographic transformation and digital imaging. This series is based on the figurative works that the artist has made on paper during the last decade, transformed into monumental compositions of tattooed figures.

In these works based on tattooed bodies she was finally able to fuse her traditional talent for drawing with the techniques and approaches of the new media through digital processes. Her search for an intimate, intense theme related to skin and body lead her to investigate the popular Madrid urban centers where young people seeking sensations are concentrated. She was fascinated by the elaborate tattoos that many of these young people used as body adornments. She searched for subjects with complex tattoos that interested her and then persuaded them to adopt the positions that she had represented in her drawings.

Her tattoo series was inspired by her search for contemporary images related to immediate culture and presented in a thoroughly contemporary language. In her search for a new kind of figurative image, she noticed that many people with tattoos were using their own skin as a surface for drawings. She found that a lot of them used the tattoo as a kind of fashion accessory, but when she began to focus on tattoos, she realized that there was a whole urban culture of tattoos with roots in techno, hip-hop and rap music that was related to the furtiveness of graffiti. She started talking to these people, listening to their stories of rebellion and marginalization. For these people, the tattoos were not just decorations, but symbols and personal messages that expressed their inner being.

For some of the people she met, the tattoos were like a diary written on the skin or were slogans like “My truth is my way” or “I will chase you monsters.” The messages were signs of deep emotions, sometimes spiritual enchantments, sometimes a permanent bond with another loved one. Rita Martorell is a young Catalan woman whose pale skin does not have tattoos. But she was increasingly fascinated by this group of alienated people covered in tattoos transferred to the skin through a painful process that was in itself intense, and she searched for a way to transport the symbols of their dreams and feelings to her drawings

She was also drawn to the aesthetics of the drawings themselves and she thought that linking them with her figurative drawings could communicate something new and contemporary. The drawings themselves were intimate nude scenes; the tattoos were also personal and intimate. The irony of making an image that fused her body drawings with actual drawings on bodies also appealed to her.

The combination of nudes depicted with actual tattooed bodies combines the explicit with the implicit. What it captures and leaves to the viewer’s imagination is a powerful balance. Each spectator can complete the facets of his body by reading the pictures as if he were reading a book. Barbara Rose, American art critic and historian.

Biography

Rita Martorell (Zurich, 1971). Although she belongs to a Catalan family, Rita Martorell Coderch was born on March 29, 1971 in Zurich (Switzerland). As a child she travelled to Spain where she attended her primary studies in Olot (Gerona).

Exhibitions

Individual expositions:
2020 LAB / SPAIN arts and science LAB in Belgium. Brussels, Belgium.
2020 Cercle Munster. Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
2019 Sobering Gallery. Brussels, Belgium. Save
2019 Galería Binomio. Madrid, Spain.
2018 Fru Fru Gallery. Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
2017 Cidade da Cultura de Galicia. Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2017 La Zagaleta. Marbella, España. (Spain)
2016 Art Wanson Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2016 Centro Cultural Cortijo de Miraflores. The City Council of Marbella, Spain.
2015 Galería Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2013 Galería Binomio. Madrid, Spain.
2012 Galeria Arcadi Calzada. Olot, Spain.
2011 River Gallery. Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
2011 Mudima Foundation. Milan, Italy.
2008 Museum Kampa – The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation. Prague, Czech Republic.
2006 Galeria El Claustre. Girona, Spain.
2006 Cervantes Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel.
2005 Tess Gallery. Madrid, Spain.
2003 CREAA – Centro de Creación de las Artes de Alcorcón. Madrid, Spain.
2002 Centre Cultural Can Sisteré. Santa Coloma de Gramenet. Barcelona, Spain.
2001 Club de Mar de Puerto Banús. Malaga, Spain.
2001 Santa Inés Palace. Granada, Spain.
2000 European Parliament. Strasbourg, France.
1998 Galeria Anquin’s. Reus, Spain.
1997 Fundació Caixa de Girona. Centre Cultural La Fontana d’Or. Girona, Spain.
1997 Fiact Foundation. Barcelona, Spain.
1996 Galeria Arcadi Calzada. Olot, Spain.
1993 Galeria Quatre Cantons. Olot, Spain.
1992 Chagall Gallery. Barcelona, Spain.

Public Art Projects:

2020 Portrait of the minister of justice, Dolores Delgado.Ministry of Justice. Spain.
2018 Installation. Santa María Polo Club. Sotogrande. Cádiz, Spain.
2017 Showroom “Roche Bobois Girona”, Spain.
2015 Design for “Roche Bobois”, Spain.
2014 Sculpture of Gerardo Fernández Albor. First democratic president of Galicia. Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2011 Showroom. Spazio Visionnaire Design Gallery – Roberto Cavalli. Milan, Italy.
2006 Sculpture. Plaza Cataluña. Santa Coloma de Gramenet. Barcelona, Spain.
2005 Sculpture. Tommy Robredo Foundation. Girona, Spain.
2005 Design for “Corona”. Modelo Group. Mexico.

Group Exhibitions:

2020 Yusto/Giner Contemporary art gallery. Marbella. Spain.
2020 Javier Aguado /Espacio de Arte, Madrid, Spain.
2020 Galería Binomio. Madrid, Spain.
2020 Galería de Arte Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2020 Galeria El Claustre. Girona, Spain.
2019 Galerie Moretti & Moretti. Marbella, Spain.
2019 Galería de Arte Contemporáneo José Lorenzo. Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
2018 D2 Art Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2018 Galería de Arte Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2017 CAC Malaga – Contemporary Art Center of Malaga.
2017 Galerie Moretti & Moretti. Marbella, Spain.
2016 MGEC – Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo. Marbella, Spain.
2016 Marbella Art Fair – Modern and Contemporary Art Show. Marbella, Spain.
2016 Vitruvio Arte y Cultura. Marbella, Spain.
2015 Red Penguin Art Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2015 D2 Art Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2014 Palacio de los Condes de Gabia. Granada, Spain.
2014 Galería de Arte Espiral. Noja, Spain.
2014 Red Penguin Art Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2014 Galería de Arte Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2014 IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. Valencia, Spain.
2014 Casa de Velázquez. Madrid, Spain.
2014 Galeria El Claustre. Girona, Spain.
2014 Nuno Sacramento – Arte Contemporânea. Ílhavo, Portugal.
2013 Red Penguin Art Gallery. Marbella, Spain.
2013 IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. Valencia, Spain.
2013 Galería Binomio. Madrid, Spain.
2012 CCPE/AECID – Cultural Foundation Park of Spain. Rosario, Argentina.
2012 MAMBA – Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. Argentina.
2012 Galería de Arte Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2012 Estampa Art Fair. International Contemporary Multiple Art Fair. Madrid, Spain.
2012 Galeria El Claustre. Girona, Spain.
2012 MNAV – National Museum of Visual Arts in Montevideo. Uruguay.
2012 Sol Art Gallery. Dublin, Ireland.
2012 Fundación Municipal Casa de Vacas. Madrid Council. Madrid, Spain.
2012 Galería Binomio. Madrid, Spain.
2012 Office des Sports Valentinois. Sport’Art. Valence, France.
2012 MAC – Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Chile. Chile.
2012 Art Madrid. Contemporary Art Fair. Madrid, Spain.
2012 MAMBO – Modern Art Museum of Bogotá. Colombia.
2011 MAC – Museu de Arte Contemporânea. Fortaleza, Brazil.
2011 Memorial da America Latina. Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2011 IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. Valencia, Spain.
2010 Galeria El Claustre. Girona, Spain.
2010 Fundación Municipal Juana Francés . Madrid Council. Madrid, Spain.
2010 Galería de Arte Rodrigo Juarranz. Aranda de Duero, Spain.
2009 Bundestag. Berlin, Germany. Art Collection of the Bundestag.
2007 CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain.
2007 Galería AVA. Madrid, Spain.
2006 Tess Gallery. Madrid, Spain.
2004 CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Spain
2004 Decoserviart. Madrid, Spain.
1999 Arnot Gallery. New York, EUA.
1998 La Carbonera Foundation. Olot, Spain.
1997 Caixa de Terrassa Foundation. Barcelona, Spain.
1997 La Garrotxa Regional Museum. Olot, Spain.
1997 Galeria Les Voltes. Olot, Spain.
1997 Sala Apolo, “Performance”. Barcelona, Spain.
1996 La Garrotxa Regional Museum. Olot, Spain.
1995 Centre Cívic Mates i Ramis. Barcelona, Spain.
1994 Sala Parés. Barcelona, Spain.
1993 Fundació Municipal. Sant Joan Les Fonts, Spain.
1992 Casa Elizalde Foundation. Barcelona, Spain.
1991 Arnot Gallery. New York, EUA.

Public Collections:

Kampa Museum – The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation. Czech Republic.
IVAM Museum – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern. Spain.
CAC Málaga – Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga. Spain.
MGEC – Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo. Spain.
La Garrotxa Regional Museum. Spain.
Centro José Guerrero. Spain.
Ministry of Justice. Spain.
Gerardo Rueda Foundation. Spain.
Fiatc Foundation. Spain.

Exhibition Catalogues:

Marbella, Centro Cultural Cortijo Miraflores 2016, Rita Martorell, retratista del alma.
Valencia, IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern 2014, Mujeres Fotógrafas del Ivam, p. 114.
Valencia, IVAM – Institut Valencià d’Art Modern and Colombia, MAMBO – Modern Art Museum of Bogotá 2012, Identidad Femenina en la colección del Ivam, p. 102.
Milan, Mudima Foundation 2011, Rita Martorell: Live Your Dreams.
Prague, Museum Kampa – The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation 2008, Rita Martorell: Works on Paper.
Barcelona, CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona 2007, BAC BABYLON, p 30.
Tel Aviv, Instituto Cervantes 2006, Rita Martorell: Cuerpos.
Barcelona, CCCB – Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona 2004, BAC! La piel, p 49.
Barcelona, Centre Cultural Can Sisteré and Madrid, CREAA – Center for the Creation of the Arts in Alcorcón 2002 -2003, Rita Martorell: Cuerpos.
Strasbourg, European Parliament 2000, Rita Martorell: Portraits.
Reus, Galeria d’Art Anquin’s 1998, Rita Martorell: Portraits.
Barcelona, Fiact Foundation 1997, Rita Martorell: Portraits.
El Bulli Foundation. Spain.
Alicia Foundation – El Bulli. Spain.
A.Bosch Foundation – Spain.
Fundación Municipal de Arte. Santa Coloma de Gramenet Council. Spain.
Mudima Foundation. Italy.
Samuel Eto’o Foundation. Spain.
FIBGAR – Baltasar Garzón International Foundation. Spain.
Bundestag Art Collection. Germany.
Cercle Munster Art Collection. Luxembourg.
Esther Humbert Art Collection. Switzerland.
Enrique Pérez Flores Art Collection. Spain.
Herbert Arnot Art Collection. USA.
Alberto García Alix Art Collection. Spain.
Gerardo Fernández Albor Art Collection. Spain.
José María Aznar Art Collection. Spain.
Carles Puigdemont Art Collection. Spain.
Antonio Quinteiro Art Collection. Spain.
Adolfo Aldana Art Collection. Spain.
Modelo Group. Mexico.
Moschillo Group. Italy.
Borges Group. Spain.
CES Group. Spain.
FRIUSA Group. Spain.