Martin Segobia

Martin’s latest artistic obsession is all about money. The native Argentine native renders classically styled illustrations on dollar bills and other reusable paper materials.

How would you describe your style

I get close to realism, but I like leaving a little room for impressionistic choices, otherwise I feel like a Xerox could take my job.

What subjects do you enjoy working on?

People, pop culture icons, sometimes animals. I like the challenge of capturing someone’s personality on a painting and adding or subtracting from the photo reference in order to enhance the portrait.

What medium(s) do you work in?

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of portraits on US currency, a lot of $1 bills, sometimes $20s. I also paint and teach with acrylic on canvas. Beyond that, I always like to experiment on other mediums, I even went through a toilet roll phase, I was drawing and painting portraits on toilet rolls, also creating little action figures, I like the idea of reusing materials; I may bring that back at some point.

How has your process evolved?

I study the old masters whenever I can, I look for those small details that take a painting from good to great. The evolution with my dollar bills also has to do with the choice of materials. When I started, I was using pencils, then acrylic paint, now it’s a combination of acrylic and a ballpoint pen. I try to emulate as much as possible the original engravings.

What got you started creating art?

I grew up in a small town in Argentina; I guess there weren’t as many distractions then as there are now. When I wasn’t playing soccer outside, I was inside drawing while my brother was in front of a Commodore 64. I have always been influenced by American pop culture, cartoons, comics, movies. I think much of my love for drawing comes from that.

What artists influence your work?

So many… I went through many phases as a student of art: mixed-media, animator, painter, but lately I’ve been revisiting the basics. I like studying Michelangelo, not only for the quality of his work but [for] his discipline and ridiculous work ethic; I find that very inspiring. I also follow contemporary comic book artists like Mike Mignola and Eduardo Risso. I admire how their drawings can be so captivating with so few elements.

"I like leaving a little room for impressionistic choices, otherwise I feel like a Xerox could take my job."

Martin Segobia, PatronArt Artist Tweet

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