Jel Martinez

5 Miami Independent Thinkers’ Artists Talk Inspiration for their Auction Works

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It’s not easy to narrow down a group of hundreds to 50 artists that represent Miami’s Independent Thinkers. But their creative director, Kerry McLaney, was up to the task. “It’s our goal to make South Florida artwork accessible to everyone,” says McLaney. “The starting bids will be $50 and move upward to $1,400, ranging in all sizes and mediums.”

And so it begins this Friday. Artists across all mediums (think: painters, sculptors, mixed media, muralists, photographers, designers) have joined forces to donate some of their most inspired works to benefit production costs for Miami Independent Thinkers’ participation in their fifth Art Basel in December. Admission is free, with beverages sponsored by Peroni and Vita Coco, small bites provided by The Corner, and music provided by DJ Peoples, Rage Johnson and DJ V.

Below, we’ve previewed five of the 50 artists whose works are being auctioned, along with their inspiration for said pieces.

Jel Martinez
Born and raised in Miami, seeing vibrant colors and graffiti in the streets inspired Jel Martinez’screativity as a kid. His “buff” style of erasing and removing art on a canvas has become a signature of his. “It is all over our city, but yet it goes unnoticed by the general public,” he says. “My inspiration is to share my stories and knowledge about the buff with the rest of the world.”

On the auction block: “Abstraction Via Graffiti Removal”

The inspiration: “What inspired me to create this particular painting is a wall on 137th Ave. and 22nd St. in the Westchester area where I grew up. The wall is pink had various tags and buffs over lapping and is extremely deteriorated. I saw it and it automatically caught my attention.”


Jel Martinez