Blessed with gold

Published December 5, 2022, 8:49 AM

by S.C. Fojas

Experience gratitude in Martin Nieto’s artistic treasures

Not all artists are lucky when it comes to the motivation department. Aside from motivating yourself, sometimes you need it to come from people around you, to feel seen, to feel supported, to feel appreciated.

When visual artist Martin Nieto was young, he discovered his passion for the arts through the motivations he received from people around him.

Martin Nieto and his ‘ Love and Forgiveness’ artwork

“During grade school, I knew I had passion for the arts because of my high grades. My teacher in Jacinto Ponce Elementary School in Bulacan observed that I had a unique style of lettering and drawing. When I was in high school in Baliwag Academy, I learned how to draw the human face and to carve on wood, which again led to commendations and high grades in my arts and vocational subjects,” says Martin. “These things prompted me to take Architecture at the University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture and Fine Arts. I remember my professor said that my out-of-the-box designs would take me far in the industry. After that, I got married to my beautiful wife and my children and my family became my inspiration to create art after pursuing my career in architecture and entrepreneur.”

Fast forward to 2022, his latest exhibit “Blessed,” at The Art District Gallery in Escolta sheds light in the connection Martin has rediscovered between art and devotion, exploring the richness and complexity of transcendent belief. 

More than exposure to the religious themes of European Renaissance art, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, and early 20th-century avant-garde art, such as Picasso’s Cubist Abstraction, Martin attributes his choice of subject matter to his wife, a religious devotee, who has taught him to live a life inspired by faith. He shares how meeting his wife has brought him closer to preachers in Bulacan whose deep and insightful outlook on spirituality has awakened in him a desire to live as a better man. 

‘Fields of Hopes and Dreams’

“My own creative signature as an artist, in my own abstraction technique, is the manipulation of basic colors plus a touch of gold,” says Martin. “The inspiration for my artwork is my wife because she is my biggest fan and she believes in my best capacity as an artist. I also find inspiration in the creations of God Almighty as my subject.”

Giddy about his work and always proud of the outcome, Martin’s favorite part in the creative process is affixing his signature on the art piece. “It means that an obra maestro is done because, at that moment, my imagination finally becomes a reality,” he beams.

His work Blessings from Above reminds the viewers of falling stars where wishes and prayers are finally granted through the warmth of a home and a happy family. Martin also uses his art as a means of healing, reconciling with his personal memories, and having faith. This is especially evident in his Bridge of Oblivion, where somewhere in a colorful garden, thick with radiant blooms, is a bridge to renewal and redemption.

“The best piece of art I have created, I think, is my first painting on canvas that tells the story of our very humble beginnings,” recalls Martin. “It’s a narrative on how we, my wife and I, started our journey in life. My education and my experiences in life helped me a lot in making my art get better, from the things I learned when I studied architecture, the techniques in free-hand drawing, coloring, visualization, imagination, and the reality of illusions. If I find the time, I would love to attend workshops and seminars on abstract paintings to further improve my skill.” 

Above all, his “Blessed” exhibition makes the viewers realize how fortunate they are. It is an expression of gratitude and unending grace that his family—and ours—continuously receive great opportunities.

“Blessed” by Martin Nieto ran at the Art District Gallery at Room 205 Calvo Building Escolta Street, Binondo, Manila.