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Marta Gottfried Wiley
Growing up in a privileged and loving Mexican-American home in Mexico City, it would have been more surprising had Marta Gottfried Wiley not become an artist. Surrounded by her doting parents, her grandmother and extended family, Marta says her childhood was almost magical. She fondly recalls many long days spent painting, creating plays and listening to or playing musical instruments with her sister and cousins. Not only did her family love the arts, they lived the arts.
Marta has been painting ever since she could hold a paintbrush in her hand. Martha Gottfried, Marta's grandmother, a famous artist in Mexico was a tremendous influence on the direction Marta would take in life. Besides being Marta's personal hero, she lovingly guided Marta towards the arts and in particular, painting. With other famous artists, such as Frida Kahlo, frequently visiting the Gottfried home, what seemed ordinary at the time she now realizes was talented individuals sharing their passion for painting and encouraging her through word and deed.
At the age of nine, Marta's parents moved to Miami, FL. There, she was enrolled in Magnet Schools that focused on the arts. By the time she graduated, she had been selling her paintings for three years. She went on to the Otis Parsons School of Design, in Los Angeles, California, where she was under a full academic scholarship, and graduated in 1992.
As a young woman, one of Marta's favourite things to do was to go to a café and ask people who were sitting there about their dreams. She would then paint them living their dream. Another tact she still uses is to stop someone in the middle of a conversation and take the person's photo with the camera that she always carries. Their emotion, or even the background, may have evoked deep feelings in her, and she wants to retain that moment so she can paint it.
Marta is a prolific artist who paints in nearly every medium. "I paint because it hurts not to," she says. "Pain is in the word painting."
Surreal landscapes, animals and loose figures, especially dancers, are her favourite subjects to paint. Her dreamscape style may be a watercolour, etching, drawing or oil. She prefers oils because, she says, her paintings have many layers. It is like looking into a magical pond where the surface is painted, but one can continue to go deeper and deeper. With oils, she can create many layers, which adds to that feeling.
She wants her paintings to evoke a feeling of peace and happiness and reflect the beauty that she sees in the world. And she hopes that people viewing her artwork will find some respite from their day-to-day lives and feel rested after seeing it.
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