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Mexican artist's intricate sketchings in cafe surroundings

June 3, 2009 | 10:58 am


Jesus Chairez, a Texan who now lives in Mexico City's Santa Maria la Ribera neighborhood and runs his own blog, often sees an 80-year-old artist, Humberto Martinez, drawing sketches using a fine-point black Bic pen at a cafe.

"I find Martinez’ work most fascinating because it is filled with fine zigzag lines. And at 80-years old he does this without glasses too. Martinez’ work reminds me of the late Mexican artist, Martin Ramirez. Ramirez was a Mexican immigrant who spent more than 30 years in California psychiatric hospitals making art few people valued, like this artist Humberto Martinez. Though Martinez is not crazy I think his work is not valued either, evident by the people who seem to not even notice him draw nor give him any attention," writes Chairez.

"Though I have always said hello to Martinez, today we spoke – this is how I found out he was 80-years old. Martinez also said that he has been drawing for the last 70 years and that he was really a painter, but he prefers using this medium. Most probably because of the environment he finds himself in – cafés."

Read the full post here.

Photo: A drawing by Humberto Martinez. Credit: Jesus Chairez.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City