Palindrome is a word or phrase that is spelled the same forwards and backwards; for example, racecar or level. In her exhibit, “Following Palindrome Series #2: Conversion,” Pamela Diaz Martinez applies this concept to her art.
The exhibit at Latino Arts Gallery, 1028 S. 9th St., expresses Martinez’ interpretation of God and spirituality.
“When you look at God one way, He’s the same way backwards,” Martinez said.
The artwork in the exhibit is based on her personal conversion from atheism to Christianity and her belief in the eternal presence of God.
For example, a series of four pieces appear to be still life drawings of everyday objects. Each object is drawn two different ways, separated by a thick black line. According to Martinez, these drawings represent specific individuals and the thick line represents the presence of God in their lives.
Latino Arts Inc. described Martinez’ work as “surreal” and “alive with magical realism.”
“The center was looking to find an artist who did not do traditional or folkloric work,” explained Martinez.
The Latino Arts Inc. gallery features Hispanic artists such as Martinez from throughout the world to promote cultural awareness and artistic education.
“She left such an impression on me when I saw her artwork,” said Zulay F.C. Oszkay, director of Latino Arts at the gallery. “It’s representative of anybody.”
In addition to painting, Martinez teaches high school and college art courses. She also designs shoes.
These activities satisfy her creative desires, Martinez said.
Milwaukee is the second place the palindrome series has been exhibited. It debuted at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif., last October.
The exhibit runs through March 30.