How I became an artist

As a polio survivor, trauma and grief gave me a significant impetus for undertaking a process of sense making since an early age, in which art became a relevant component in later years.


Raised in a home where art was a significant endeavour both socially and professionally, I discovered photography as primitive form of artistic self-expression. However, family and peer pressure pushed me into the field of science.


After graduating from school as a Civil Engineer, I started to work in the engineering consulting business. Despite this progress, my curiosity for art intensified. There was excitement in the beauty of things.


In 1986 I moved to Canada, and then to the USA. In 1988 at Art Institute of Southern California, I became acquainted with stone carving, as working in three dimensions was a pending issue in my mind. The visual and tactile sensual pleasure of working with materials opened a window onto a universe that was hidden to me previously. Art making felt real. Through art a sense of adventure was steadily taking hold and altering the course of my life, perhaps to reveal to myself my true identity.


After resettling in Canada I initiated a formal training into fine arts. Jobless as an engineer during the economic recession of the late 80s, I was admitted to the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1992, and graduated in 1996. During those years I found inspiration for my artistic expression in texts on comparative mythologies and religions.


In the mid 90s I returned to engineering with a renewed sense of purpose and freshness. My creative experience in the arts translated into an expanded view of my role as an engineer. As an artist I experimented with media, materials and techniques to finally return to painting with oils.


In 2010 I moved to Hong Kong for a very fruitful engineering assignment that finished in 2014 after a serious accident that further crippled me physically.


In 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic I had to relocate to Canada. Art making, reading and meditations are helping me to expand into this next expansion stage amid the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Toronto, 21 April 2021

© 2021 by Alberto E. Martorana, Fine Artist. Proudly created with 

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