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Enrique Martínez Celaya

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Enrique Martínez Celaya
Contemporary (post 1945)
(Nueva Paz, Cuba, June 9, 1964 - )

Enrique Martínez Celaya is an active painter and sculptor known to creatively integrate his experiences as a first-generation American, academic, writer, and physicist. His artwork typically showcases children’s toys, animals, and astronomical objects to convey profound child-like wonder amidst the complexities of modern society. Celaya was born in Nueva Paz, Cuba to Edilia and Marcos Celaya in 1964. Due to economic hardships affecting his family’s quality of life, he moved to Spain and Puerto Rico before he turned 17. Inspired by the literary, musical, and mathematical innovations he experienced, he enrolled at Cornell University in 1982 with the intention to become a physicist. Celya earned a B.S. in Applied Physics from Cornell, an M.S. in Quantum Electronics from U.C. Berkeley, and a M.F.A. from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1986, 1988, and 1994, respectively. He would apply his quantitative background to create paintings and sculptures that contain multi-faceted meanings rich in historical, political, and philosophical allusions. Celaya and his works have been internationally recognized. His awards and fellowships include the Regents Fellow from the University of California in 1992, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Young Talent Award in 2004, and the Getty Foundation Award in 2004. He is also a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College and the Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California. Celaya remains an active artist based in Los Angeles.


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