The Immigrant

The Immigrant

Enrique Martínez Celaya, Cuban, 1964
Born: Havana, Cuba
Work Locations: Los Angeles, CA
United States
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum

(c) Enrique Martínez Celaya

weight: 500 oz, 14174.5000 g; height: 94 in, 238.7600 cm; width: 24 in, 60.9600 cm; depth: 17 in, 43.1800 cm
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

Enrique Martínez Celaya is a scientist and a poet as well as an artist; he considers each of his vocations as a means of ordering and understanding life. His paintings, photographs, sculptures, and mixed-media works may be seen both as manifestations of his search for truth and as representing the on-going, cyclical processes of living and understanding. Especially for someone like Martínez Celaya, whose early years were imprinted with the violence of exile, life can be messy; his media, which combine traditional art materials with things like blood and tar, reflect this fact on a visceral as well as visual level.

Images of men and boys appear frequently in Martínez Celaya’s work, where they may be deployed like alter-egos. The cast-bronze figure in “The Immigrant,” a sculpture from 2005, seems to relate to the artist’s own experience. This figure, rendered immobile by legs that are truncated at the ankle - possibly during a long journey from one home to another - can neither speak nor see nor move, but he seems to have adapted to his task of communicating by growing a hand (the artist’s hand?) that is larger than life.

Enrique Martínez Celaya was born in Havana, Cuba in 1964. Five years after the end of the Cuban Revolution, he immigrated to Spain in 1972. Three years later, he and his family moved to Puerto Rico. He holds a B.S. in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering from Cornell University (1986), an M.S. in Quantum Physics from the University of California, Berkeley (1989), and a M.F.A. in Painting and Sculpture from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1994).

Exhibition History
  • "Focus: The Figure"—Denver Art Museum [08/09/2008 - 02/08/2011]
  • "Showing Off: Recent Modern and Contemporary Acquisitions"—Denver Art Museum [05/17/2015 - 01/03/2016]
  • “Disruption: Works from the Vicki and Kent Logan Collection” — Denver Art Museum, 1/13/2022

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