Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Martina Billi has been living abroad for the last 10 years (currently in Madrid), and has been very successful. Although physically she is far away, the beauty of her work transmits her deep attachment to her roots.

Martina was born in San Casciano in 1984 (here her Facebook page). Martina has extraordinary talent and creates incredibly realistic figures in a manner that appears to be simple.

With a ballpoint pen, ink, and a wooden support she is able to infuse a vital light into the eyes of the animals she designs. For Martina, drawing is a way to interpret reality. She loves minute drawings and details which allow her to carefully observe the objects and situations that surround her, to understand them and express them.

“Born in Florence,” says Martina, “I lived in the Chianti countryside until the age of 23. After studying at the State Institute of Art in Porta Romana, I graduated with a degree in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence”.

“My experience outside of Italy began in 2007,” she tells us. “I worked for a year and half in Barcelona. Then, thanks to an Erasmus scholarship, I moved to Granada. When I finished my thesis in Italy, I went to Amsterdam for six months”.

“I have been living in Madrid for three years,” continues Martina. “I have a small studio in my house. I have sold my drawings in markets and at design events. I do most of my work on commission, so I also ship my work abroad”.

“I have participated in group art shows in venues, book stores and galleries in the modern Malasana neighborhood of Madrid” she continues “My last personal show, which just ended, was at the National Museum of Natural Sciences”.

“My work is made up of designs made with pen and ink in large format on tablets of recycled wood,” Martina explains “I use what other people throw away or put aside, and try to give it a second life”.

“I am inspired by the natural World and the relationship between man and animal,” she says “The theme, like the materials, tie me to my land of origin. For example, the wood reminds me of a simple way of life”.

“I am currently painting a mural for the headquarters of Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality)”  concludes Martina “It is an organization which deals with the defense of animal rights. My future projects include a new show and the publication of a small book of illustrations”.

Noemi Bartalesi