Art & Democracy: Rodrigo Martí

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Happening Now Thursday, June 28, 2018 View Count = 1869

Art & Democracy: Rodrigo Martí


Based in Toronto, Rodrigo Martí is a Mexican-Canadian artist who often focuses on the intersection of politics and art in his work. While Rodrigo primarily uses the mediums of drawing and painting, he has also previously created sculptures with a social and political bent.

Last December, Rodrigo joined the Samara Centre for Democracy and Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) in a day-long event called the #StrongerDemocracy Day of Learning, which brought together Everyday Political Citizen finalists from across the country.

As part of this collaboration, supported by Community Foundations Canada, Rodrigo was one of four artists invited to tap into their creative expression to demonstrate their relationship and experiences with Canadian democracy.


The piece Rodrigo created focuses on his current interests in face-to-face conversation and journalism in relation to art making. 

“For me, it’s not the megaphone conversation but rather the smaller-scale, face-to-face setting with a few people, where I feel I can have the most positive effect in the world,” he noted.

He was particularly inspired by Mexican religious portraits from the 16th and 17th century that feature a single descriptive sentence of text wrapped like a ribbon around central figures.

“The swirls in the background of my piece are stand-ins for all the writing, conversation, and notes that were taken away from the discussions held with Samara and CKX,” Rodrigo explains.

He adds that the collaboration with Samara and CKX made him think of the ideal of communication and exchange, and the fundamental role they play in a democracy.

Rodrigo’s art piece was donated to Samara and recently put on display, greeting staff and visitors as they enter our office.

Excerpts of this post were taken from CKX’s interview with Rodrigo and Fieldnotes blog. Click here to read the full piece.

On the Samara BlBlog logo representing the letter 'o'g