Photography of artist Joan Marti ARAGONES (1936 – 2009)

Photography of Joan Marti Aragones in 1992, in front of a large painting he painted for F.C. Barcelona with the players and dignitaries of the season and which is kept at the club headquarters.

Credit photograph unknown.

Sources: Web site – Joan Marti

Note!!! – This post is for didactic purposes only!

Joan Marti ARAGONES (1936 – 2009) – Joan MARTI

Catalan painter Joan Marti Aragones was born in Barcelona in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War.

At thirteen years of age he was admitted as an apprentice to the studio of Nolasc Valls i Martí and started his artistic studies as early as 1950.

Marti showed a predilection for Figurative Art from the start and enrolled in 1953 at the School of Fine Arts San Jorge in Barcelona, whence he graduated in 1959 with a BFA and followed courses with such renowned teachers as Ernest Santasusagna i Santacreu, his teacher mentioned above and Antonio Garcia Morales.

After completing his studies he won a scholarship in 1960 to further his studies in Italy and America. In Italy, he visited the cities with the country’s greatest artistic tradition and then spent time in Paris, where he explored his museums and came into contact with other painters. In 1961 he lived for six months in the Swiss city of St. Gallen.

Back in Spain, he joined Josep Toutain’s agency Selecciones Ilustradas, and started working for comic publications from abroad. The artistic agency is a representation for Spanish illustrators and draftsmen which offer work in foreign markets.

Thanks to this agency, he produces cartoons for war films and he worked mainly for the Fleetway’s romantic magazines on the British market, such as Roxy, Valentine and Marilyn. For these, he drew also a series of portraits of well-known singer’s stars of the time, such as Paul Anka, Cliff Richard and Tommy Steele. During the following years, he also drew illustrations for women’s magazines and covers for romance novels. He was additionally present in a couple of Spanish comics, such as ‘El Gigante de la Historieta’ by Editorial Manhattan, and ‘Cascos de Acero’ and ‘Selecciones de Historias Graficas’ by Ediciones Boixher.

Joan Marti Aragonés, is also known by his signature Petronius during this period as an illustrator, but for his artworks he mostly signs Joan Marti.

He made his first solo exhibition in 1959, at the age of only 20, at the now no longer operating Atena gallery; six years later, after a period of deep reflection on his style and painting, he held his second solo exhibition at the gallery Jaimes at the famous Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, which turns out to be a great success.

During the following years, he combined his work as an illustrator with artistic painting, but from the mid-1970s, he devoted himself fully to the latter and has established himself as one of the most important contemporary figurative artists in Spain during the following decades.

In 1986 he moved to Rome and he made sketches of Plácido Domingo, Katia Ricarelli and other actors in the Cinecittá film studios of Rome, during the shooting of the film Othello and with the permission of its director, Franco Zeffirelli. From these sketches, 25 works emerged, leading to a traveling exhibition which went worldwide in 1992. From then on he held exhibitions in the major Spanish galleries and internationally throughout the world. His work has been shown in Paris, Luxembourg, Caracas, Washington, New York, Brussels, Miami, Quebec and all over California.

At the request of the opera singer, Placido Domingo, he painted a large portrait that the tenor kept in his New York home. He also painted scenes from hat same Verdi’s opera Otello starring Domingo and soprano Katia Ricciarelli performing at La Scala in Milan.

In 1990, he took sketches during a regatta in which King Juan Carlos I participated in Majorca, from which emerged 22 works exhibited at Real Club Náutico de Barcelona in 1991 and in December of the same year at the Barcelona Boat Show, with the presence of the king himself. He became one of the official portrait artists of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I.

In 1992, he painted a large painting for F.C. Barcelona, which is kept at the club headquarters, with the players and dignitaries of that season.

In 1997, an exhibition took place at the Galerie Anquin in Reus, presented by Baltasar Porcel an important writer, journalist and literary critic.

These accomplishments are the result of a career steeped in devotion to technique and to a unified aesthetic vision.

His style is defined as figurative, with a preference for the human figure, everyday scenes and landscapes, both natural and urban. Master both the technique of oil, charcoal and pastel. Throughout his career, he has represented many famous people, such as the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Jordi Pujol and his wife Marta Ferrusola, Ladislao Kubala, Xavier Cugat, Frédéric Mompou or the writer Josep Pla, who said that his painting had a “practical, almost magical, extremely intelligent and pleasant realism”. For his part, the writer Francisco Candel defined his palette as “rich in themes and nuances, and in his neat polychromy, without strident but with accuracy”.

Joan Marti Aragones died in Sant Cugat del Vallès in February 2009. He is the father of international golfer Paula Martí.

In October of the same year, a tribute exhibition took place in the Rusiñol room in Sant Cugat del Vallès.

See an artwork by Joan Marti Aragones

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