May 12, 2009

Outsider Art - Martin Sanchez

I am a huge fan of outsider art, I saw my first large installment in the Caribean on vacation. It was beautiful completely constructed of seashells, shards of mirror and white stucco. The artist had created benches, low walls and scupltures for her garden. We stumbled upon it while wandering off the beaten path - it was gorgeous.
Artist Martin Sanchez and his beautiful daughter Stephanie outside their restaurant that resides across the street from Martin's chapel.

Folk artist Martin Sanchez has transformed nearly an entire city block in Riverside, California into a chapel built from found materials, curiosities, and oddities. The photo above is a view of the exterior of the chapel, with beer and soda bottles serving as walls. The interior of the sanctuary illuminates the chapel with color from the bottles in the walls.

Some of the border walls surrounding various scupltures outside of the chapel feature some interesting materials like the Barbie doll and Gremlin toy.

Fresco featuring the sky, clouds the Holy Mother and cherubs floating overhead.
Restaurant-owner and folk artist Martin Sanchez has created an urban oasis, a garden of Eden, hidden behind shrubs, trees and a wrought-iron fence inside Martin’s Tio’s Tacos restaurant on Mission Inn Avenue in Riverside, California.
Another conglomeration sculpture by Martin at his restaurant with broken shards of statuary and figurines.
Relatively undiscovered, Mr. Sanchez has been working on his creation for almost 10 years. Patrons of the restaurant can walk underneath cooling streams of water flowing from a fountain garden made of broken pieces of clay and old pipes, discarded bicycles, dolls and other items.

One of the many mini shrines located inside the chapel featuring garage sale finds and imagery decoupaged on the window sill.

There is topiary wire filled with Barbie dolls, perfume bottles and pipe elbows. There’s an incredible path through an archway lined in tubing pumping water, creating an obstacle course of water, where one can walk without getting wet.

Sanchez came to the United States in 1984. He struggled at first, selling oranges in East Los Angeles, working in factories and making extra money by selling tacos. He became a legal resident during the 1986 federal amnesty.
In 1992, Sanchez quit factory work and persuaded the owner of a Mexican seafood restaurant to let him sell tacos out of a corner of the establishment. Eventually, he raised enough money to buy the place.
Now, he lives in the house next door with his wife, Concepcion Sanchez, 38, and three daughters: Stephanie, 16, Kimberly, 12, and Maiten, 1.

1 comment:

Marcella Lally said...

O Julie, I just love this kind of stuff. The almighty combo, caps, glass, shrines at it's best. When am I ever going to get it together to create a work of art like this. Maybe someday down at your farm, we can do it together!
From one muse to another... marcella