Antonio Martorell

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Antonio Martorell
Antonio Matorell, Artista Pintor, en Ponce, Puerto Rico (4-Enero-2015) (ZZZd).jpg
Antonio Martorell in Ponce, Puerto Rico (January 2015)
Antonio Martorell Cardona

18 April 1939
NationalityPuerto Rican
EducationMadrid, Spain
Known forPainting, writer, educator, broadcaster
Notable work
‘Escarabajo’ [Beetle][1]
‘Espejuelos’ [Eyeglasses][1]
La Piel de la Memoria
El Libro Dibujado
AwardsBienal de Arte de San Juan
Patron(s)Museo de Arte de Ponce
Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art
Puerto Rico Museum of Art

Antonio ("Toño") Martorell Cardona (born 18 April 1939) is a Puerto Rican painter, graphic artist and writer. He regularly exhibits in Puerto Rico and the United States and participates in arts events around the world. He spends his time between his workshops in Ponce, Hato Rey, and New York City, his presentations worldwide and his academic work in Cayey, Puerto Rico.

Early years[edit]

Martorell Cardona was born on 18 April 1939, in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He is the son of Antonio Martorell II and Luisa Cardona. His father left the family when Martorell was ten years old.[2] He is the first of three children. He first started showing interest in arts as a small child with drawings.


He studied diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.,[3] and then in 1961 went to study painting with Julio Martín Caro in Madrid.[2][4] In the 1960s, he worked in Ponce, collaborating with Sor Isolina Ferre in the creation of community art workshops.[4] He also worked at the workshop of Lorenzo Homar at the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña between 1962-1965.[2] He currently is the Resident Artist of the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.[5]


Martorell's incursion into the arts came by the way of theater on 25 April 2001. He participated in the scenography of "Celebración Verdiana " for the opera by Plácido Domingo.[6]


The eyes of Carmen Rosa by Antonio Martorell

Martorell currently has a workshop in New York City[7] and another one on Calle Salmon (old Calle Comercio) in barrio Playa, Ponce, at a building that dates to 1815[8] and which he has occupied since 2007.[9] Of his breezy workshop at Playa de Ponce and his spiritual connection there he has said "more than Ponceño, I am a Playero...My north now is the South and its wide horizons."[9]

Martorell was the winner of the Bienal de Arte de San Juan, and has illustrated books of several authors including Alma Rosa Flor, Heraclio Cepeda, Nicholasa Mohr, and Pura Belpré. He also illustrated the ABC de Puerto Rico published by Troutman Press.


In the 1980s, Martorell dedicated himself to writing, producing various books.[4] As a writer, Martorell has written books such as La piel de la memoria (translated as Memory's Tattoo by Andrew Hurley), and El libro dibujado (The Drawn Book). He currently writes a column for Escenario, a section of Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero.

Personal life[edit]

In December 2006, Martorell's workshop in Cayey, Puerto Rico, was subjected to arson with the loss of many works of art.[10]


The most extensive publication on Martorell's work is Antonio Díaz-Royo's biography Martorell: la aventura de la creación (The Adventure of Creation).[11] His paintings are found at the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Museo de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Galería Nacional de San Salvador, Museo de Arte Moderno de México, Museo del Barrio, Whitney Museum and Hotel Melia in Ponce, Puerto Rico.[4]

Matorell's works have been reviewed by numerous critics. One, Nelson Rivera Rosario, analyzed three works by Martorell: Catálogo de objetos [Catalogue of Objects] (1974); White Christmas (1980); and Simplicity Patterns (1981). In his interpretation, Rivera Rosario believes the three works represent Martorell’s attempt to provide the Puerto Rican viewer with "the means to see and evaluate their colonial status” so that, hopefully, they might lead to “eventual decolonization.”[12]


  • La piel de la memoria. [Puerto Rico]: Ediciones Envergadura, 1991.
  • El libro dibujado: el dibujo librado. Cayey [P.R.]; New York: Ediciones Envergadura, 1995.
  • Memory’s Tattoo. Translation of La piel de la memoria from the Spanish by Andrew Hurley; foreword by Luis Rafael Sánchez. San Juan, P.R.: Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2005. ISBN 1-56328-239-9.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Antonio Martorell Removes His Paintings from the Supreme Court. Repeating Islands: News and commentary on Caribbean culture, literature, and the arts. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Antonio Martorell Doña | Provi's Garden (a cardboard fantasy)". Rice Gallery. Retrieved 16 October 2019. Archive.
  3. ^ Espacio Tangente: Amores marinos. Silvia Alvarez Curbelo. Arte Publico en Puerto Rico. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Antonio Martorell (1939- ): Honoris Causa UT 1997. Archived 4 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Universidad del Turabo. December 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  5. ^ Museo de Arte de Ponce: Circulo del Arte. Museo de Arte de Ponce. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  6. ^ Galeria de Arte: Antonio Martorell. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  7. ^ Antonio Martorell.[permanent dead link] Community Arts University without Walls (CAUWW). Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  8. ^ Creación de la Playa de Ponce. Talleres Comunitarios: Espacio Tangente. Arte Publico en Puerto Rico. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b Vivo el tributo a Toño Martorell. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Year 30. Issue 1493. 1 July 2012. Page 26. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  10. ^ Galeria de Arte: Antonio Martorell. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  11. ^ Díaz-Royo, Antonio. Martorell: la aventura de la creación. San Juan, P.R.: La Editorial Universidad de Puerto Rico, 2008. ISBN 0-8477-0427-0
  12. ^ En Torno a Tres Trabajos de Antonio Matorell, Artista Puertorriqueño. Nelson Rivera Rosario. Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art. (ICAA Record ID: 805303) International Center for the Arts of the Americas. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA. 2018. Accessed 21 March 2018. (Originally published in the journal "Plástica", in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Liga de Arte de San Juan. Vol. 13. No. 1, Year 7, 1985. pp.5-9)

External links[edit]