Background Noise, Volume 122: Narsiso Martinez

Background Noise Narsiso Martinez

Narsiso Martinez uses his vivid art to spotlight the daily lives and efforts of farmworkers across the United States. Born in 1977 in Oaxaca, Mexico, he moved to the U.S. when he was 20 and now lives here in my current city of residence, Long Beach, California

Drawing from his own experiences working in agricultural fields, Martinez’s art resonates with a deep sense of authenticity. He crafts striking portraits and mixed media installations using discarded produce boxes. This material serves as a poignant connection to the industry and the harsh realities faced by farmworkers.

Martinez’s art has gained significant recognition, showcased in solo and group exhibitions at renowned venues including the Hammer Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Museum of Latin American Art, and even the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. His work can also be found in several major museums across the country.

Through his artistic endeavors, Narsiso Martinez sheds a light on the stories and struggles of farmworkers, celebrating their indispensable role in our society.

First album you bought?
Mana  “Donde Jugaran Los Niños” (1991)

Last album you bought?
Staind “Break the Cycle”  (2001)

First concert?
Los Temerarios  (1995)

Last concert?
Madonna, early 2000s

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
I don’t have a particular album in mind, but Angeles del Inferno is a band that had a significant impression on me growing up.

Who is your musical hero?
Ricardo Arjona. I love the way he composes music and how bold his lyrics are. He is unafraid to make a statement and be political.

How important is music to your creative process?
Rating from 1-10, I rate it a 5. I love listening to podcasts, news, and just enjoy the silence.

BONUS: What is your favorite album cover of all time (and why)?
Vision of Love by Mariah Carey (1990). I was enamored by her beauty.

Check out Narsiso’s playlist below on Spotify. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes right here.

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