Antonio Martorell gives a virtual tour of his studio


Ileana Delgado Castro (El Nuevo Día) reports that Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell (AKA El Maestro) recently gave a Facebook Live tour to show the projects on which he has been working during the quarantine in his studio in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Gallery owner Walter Otero led the tour. You may watch a video of the tour (14:37 minutes) at El Nuevo Día or wocapr on Instagram.

Artist Antonio Martorell received today, Thursday, April 23, dozens of visitors who gathered to enjoy a guided tour of his workshop in Ponce. Of course, they were virtual visitors through a Facebook Live session that El Maestro started at 4:00pm with gallery owner Walter Otero, in which he showed the works of art that he has worked on during these weeks of social isolation due to the coronavirus.

“There is no hurricane, earthquake or coronavirus that can stop Maestro Martorell,” said Otero, who stressed that the artist had recently turned 81.

With enthusiasm, Martorell showed some of the pieces that are part of the “Memorial for the victims of Hurricane Maria,” which will eventually be transferred to New York to be installed in Battery Park. A piece that, he explained, consists of a transparent glass spiral on which will be printed (in Spanish and English) the poem “Farewell from Welfare Island” by poet Julia de Burgos. “Here is a preview from the Martorell workshop and the process of this work to honor the victims of Hurricane Maria,” said Otero.

From this space the artist went to a garden area adorned with a beautiful pink bougainvillea [known in Puerto Rico as trinitaria], where he said he usually has breakfast. “Here I have spent part of the quarantine; the plants have not found out about the pandemic, they are in full bloom,” the artist observed in a jocular tone, after indicating that he suffers much “because I do all this (his artistic work) and I do not have anyone to show it to.”

In another of the workshop rooms, which for all intents and purposes looks like a museum, he showed a tree that he rescued after Hurricane Maria, which he painted and covered with calligraphy and which now serves to hang some of his iconic hats.

Next, he went to another space to proudly show the work “Once tesis sobre un crimen de 1889” [Eleven Theses on a Crime of 1889], which he explained is based on the first prosecution of a crime under the United States regime in Puerto Rico. The piece is inspired by eponymous book by Arcadio Díaz Quiñones.

The cameras then took visitors to another of his projects, “Ponce histérico” [Hysterical Ponce], which he began working on after the earthquake that occurred in the southeast of the country on Three Kings Day.

The next stop led us to what he calls a “Autorretrato pandémico” [Pandemic Self-portrait] while standing next to the piece to demonstrate the resemblance.

[Translated by Ivette Romero. For original article (in Spanish), see

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