||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2013)|
July 30, 1956|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Field||Painting, social commentary|
Since 1992 Soraida Martinez has been known as the creator of Verdadism, a form of hard-edge abstraction where each painting is accompanied by a written social commentary. Martinez is the only artist to write a social statement for every painting that she creates.[according to whom?] Viewers are drawn to both the artist's abstract paintings and her bold commentaries on humanity and the universal human condition. According to Martinez' artist's statement, "My art reflects the essence of my true self and the truth within me...My struggle is for recognition, acceptance and inclusion; and, against racism, sexism and the dominant eurocentric male society, which never expected much from me but still did not allow my voice to be heard. My belief is that one must empower oneself with one's own truth...".
Soraida Martinez was born in New York City in 1956 and since 1986 has been in business as the owner of an art and design studio. Martinez studied art at Glassboro State College, where she graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in design; she also holds a Liberal Arts degree focusing on psychology. In Verdadism, every painting is always accompanied by a written social commentary based on Martinez' personal life experiences and observations on American society. Because it directly confronted social issues at a time when it was not fashionable, Verdadism has been called the first socially conscious art style of the 21st century.[according to whom?]
Martinez has gained recognition and received many awards for this unique thought-provoking and visually stimulating art style. In 2008, Martinez was recognized (along with other notable actors, artists, designers, directors and writers) as one of the 15 most prominent Hispanic Americans in the Arts. Among many other social and philosophical issues, Soraida’s Verdadism paintings also address sexism, racism and stereotyping for the purpose of promoting hope, peace, tolerance and social change. In 1999, Martinez wrote a book on the Art of Verdadism.
The Verdadism art style has been featured in many magazines and newspapers, as well as on radio and television; many of the Verdadism paintings have been used as covers for books and scholarly journals. An article in Psychology Today, “Taking Ourselves Seriously Enough,”  by Dr. Miki Kashtan, co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication, featured the Verdadism painting, “Self-Effacing Woman,” which was created by Martinez in 1995. Educational organizations  and elementary school teachers  also use the artist's paintings and art book to teach students about tolerance and diversity. The Verdadism Art Book is also being used as a textbook for a visual rhetoric course at Willamette University. In 1996, Martinez was appointed by the then governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, to a seat on the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, where she was a member until she resigned in 2000.
Through her art, Soraida is an advocate and humanitarian who visits young children in schools in order to encourage and inspire them to strive to achieve their fullest potential. Soraida is frequently asked to do exhibitions on her Verdadism art and philosophy at universities, institutions and corporations.
- Soraida's Artist Statement
- Rowan Magazine article: Masters of the Arts – Rowan faculty and alumni share their work and views, http://www.rowanmagazine.com/assets/pdfs/1995/mastersofarts.pdf
- Outstanding Woman – Soraida Martinez
- Home | IIP Digital | U.S. Department of State
- United States Copyright Office Public Catalog, . ISBN 978-0-9676719-0-1.
- Taking Ourselves Seriously Enough | Psychology Today
- Florida Learn & Serve, Lesson Plan: The Power of Some - Soraida Martinez/Mixed Media, (http://www.fsu.edu/~flserve/resources/handbook/9th-12th.pdf)
- TeacherArtExchange (Education at the Getty) - Latino Artist you will LOVE - Soraida Martinez
- Women's Resources - Towson University
- Leading Ladies: Mujeres En La Literatura Hispana Y En Las Artes by Yvonne Fuentes, Margaret Parker - Published 2006 Louisiana State Press. ISBN 0-8071-3082-6
- Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, and Society in the United States by Ilan Stavans, Harold Augenbra - Published Grolier Academic Reference. ISBN 0-7172-5815-7
- Social Work with Latinos: A Cultural Assets Paradigm by Melvin Delgado - Published 2006 Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530118-8
- Adiós, Borinquen Querida: La diáspora puertorriqueña, su historia y sus aportaciones ("ADIOS, BORINQUEN QUERIDA": THE PUERTO RICAN DIASPORA, ITS HISTORY, AND CONTRIBUTIONS”) by Edna Acosta-Belén - Published 2000 CELAC. ISBN 0-615-11204-8
- Soraida's Verdadism: The Intellectual Voice of a Puerto Rican Woman on Canvas; Unique, Controversial Images and Style - Published 1999 by Artist, Soraida. ISBN 0-9676719-0-6