Gabriel Martinez (American, b.1967) is an interdisciplinary artist working in many mediums, including paint, sculpture, and photography. He is most widely known for his work on the male body, including many self-portraits. He was born in Miami, FL, and graduated from the University of Florida in 1989 with a BFA in Photography. He received his MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art in Pennsylvania in 1991. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in New York in 2002.
Martinez received the Pew Fellowship for the Arts in 2001 and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship in 2002. Martinez has also received two Individual Artists Grants from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia and the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia. Martinez's work provides a unique view of the homosexual gaze on the body of a heterosexual male. The work often shows a mix of apprehension and tension with a hint of curiosity. He is not afraid to show a little skin, including his own.
Martinez's early work includes many pieces, such as photographs and Performance Art pieces, that use his own naked body. He is best known for Self Portraits by Heterosexual Men, which debuted in 1998. These pictures feature heterosexual males photographed at the point of manual climax. He revisited the project in 2007, and used a multi-exposure digital camera that allowed many pictures to be taken at the time of climax. This gave Martinez the opportunity to choose the most expressive shots. This included not only expressiveness of the act itself, but also the location and objects near the model. His work has been featured in many museums and galleries, both nationally and internationally, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, FL, Art Mur Gallery in Montreal, Canada, and Gallery Muu in Helsinki, Finland. Martinez currently resides in Philadelphia, where he is the coordinator of undergraduate photography at the University of Pennsylvania.