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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 and engineering became relevant components along the path. Imagination and visualizations were the first steps of a life long process

Raised in a home where art was a significant endeavour both socially and professionally, I discovered photography as primary form of artistic self-expression.


However, family and peer pressure pushed me into the field of science. Art was not encouraged.

Alberto E. Martorana, Fine Artist

“The obstacle in the path becomes the path”

                   The King – Old Zen story

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 an undiscovered world for me. The visual and tactile sensual pleasure of working with materials was a revelation on the nature of the Universe and my own humanity.

After settling 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.

Art school induced in me the development of craftsmanship, intent, and ambition as an artist. I started to see compositions as part of clarifying my mind, and triggering saliency in a meaningful way.

Art making felt real. Through art a sense of adventure was steadily taking hold and altering the course of my life: I was shedding my skin for revealing my true identity.

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 life stage amid the long lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

04 November 2023

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