RE­NAIS­SANCE BEAUTY

Artist Lia Martino de­picts a fu­sion of art, fash­ion and style

RSWLiving - - Departments - BY DAVID ACEVEDO

Open­ing the door of a home that’s a sa­fari of glam, art and cou­ture, Lia Martino wel­comes guests with a ra­di­ant smile that char­ac­ter­izes this beau­ti­ful and multi-tal­ented woman. A pow­er­house of beauty, lib­er­ated self-ex­pres­sion and style, Martino’s im­pres­sive ré­sumé en­com­passes ex­cit­ing ca­reers and en­trepreneur­ships and, most im­por­tantly, great suc­cess. For a per­son as cre­ative as Martino, it is hard to stay fo­cused on one sin­gle project. “I have no idea,” she says when asked about who she is as an artist.

How­ever, she knows. The self-de­scribed “cock­tail of art, pas­sion and beauty” arises daily to pro­duce, co­or­di­nate, ar­range, re­ar­range, model, design and dream of even more projects. There has been no rest for this go-get­ter since she first stood be­fore a can­vas at age 5. “I have a ton of [art­work and cloth­ing] com­mis­sions and I feel so lucky! I have such great clien­tele,” she says, show­ing paint­ings neatly stacked against the walls of her home stu­dio in Fort My­ers.

“In Au­gust 2016, I will be hav­ing a fash­ion-in­spired ex­hi­bi­tion with big paint­ings and col­lab­o­ra­tions with other lo­cal artists that I love,” notes Martino, whose paint­ings de­pict pop­u­lar sub­jects and fash­ion-in­spired themes with ab­stract aes­thet­ics.

An Illi­nois na­tive, Martino ar­rived in South­west Florida via Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia, where she had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in model­ing. That was in 2008. It didn’t take long for lo­cals to no­tice her com­mand­ing pres­ence and big spirit, un­know­ingly de­mand­ing at­ten­tion with an un­ex­plain­able poise. At­tracted by the beau­ti­ful coasts, es­pe­cially the mar­vels of Sani­bel and Cap­tiva, Martino de­cided to set­tle in and bask in the hap­pi­ness of be­com­ing a Florid­ian.

Martino’s first paint­ing ex­hibit was in New York. She was just 12, now re­call­ing sell­ing some of the work and feel­ing the need to do more. “My mom has al­ways told me that I was born with a paint­brush in my hands,” says Martino, whose nat­u­ral beauty and spon­ta­neous per­son­al­ity would land her in fash­ion for Chanel at age 16. She also worked in lux­ury fash­ion for Ar­mani,

Ralph Lau­ren and Calvin Klein. From that point for­ward, her life be­came a whirl­wind of art, design and fash­ion; per­form­ing in run­way shows in the United States and Europe while pro­duc­ing and ex­hibit­ing her art, men­tor­ing other artists and op­er­at­ing a num­ber of busi­nesses, in­clud­ing a cloth­ing design ven­ture called Dil­lon and a faux-fin­ish­ing com­pany.

Martino’s de­sire to ex­plore and ex­per­i­ment forces her to shift from one ven­ture to another, in or­der to sat­isfy the need to bring her mul­ti­ple ideas to life. The truth is she man­ages to do it all, timely and flaw­lessly. She is also work­ing on com­mis­sioned por­traits of clients’ fam­ily mem­bers who have passed away, which re­quires ex­ten­sive re­search and doc­u­men­ta­tion for ac­cu­racy. “I love do­ing the re­search and find­ing out so much about the sub­jects, then I dream the paint­ings. I get out of bed in the mid­dle of the night and paint,” says Martino, who is in­spired by mostly ev­ery­thing that sur­rounds her. At the same time, she is pro­duc­ing a line of al­tered jeans and cus­tom jew­elry, called Dil­lon.

“Lia and I be­came im­me­di­ate friends when we mod­eled and trav­eled to­gether. She is a tal­ented artist and fash­ion de­signer,” says San­dra Ward, CEO of Mi­ami-based Cat­walk Pros. “She sees ev­ery­thing with a pure heart, al­ways find­ing the good in oth­ers

She sees ev­ery­thing with a pure heart, al­ways find­ing the good in oth­ers and her paint­ings re­flect her ex­pe­ri­ences in life and love for fash­ion.”

—San­dra Ward, CEO of Mi­ami-based Cat­walk Pros

and her paint­ings re­flect her ex­pe­ri­ences in life and love for fash­ion.” Ward is co-or­ga­niz­ing a not-yet an­nounced run­way show with Martino.

Artists like Lia Martino are born, not cre­ated. She is driven by the ex­pe­ri­ences in life and the de­sire to ex­pose her soul to the world. We cer­tainly look for­ward to more of her ge­nius. More in­for­ma­tion about the artist can be found at lia­martino.com.

David Acevedo is a vis­ual artist, cu­ra­tor, former gallery owner, art writer and cur­rent man­ager of the Union Artist Stu­dios on the cam­pus of the Al­liance for the Arts. He has a de­gree in vis­ual arts from the Univer­sity of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Cam­pus.

Her life be­came a whirl­wind of art, design and fash­ion; per­form­ing in run­way shows in the United States and Europe while pro­duc­ing and ex­hibit­ing her art, men­tor­ing other artists and op­er­at­ing a num­ber of busi­nesses in­clud­ing a cloth­ing design ven­ture called Dil­lon and a faux-fin­ish­ing com­pany.

Multi-tal­ented artist Lia Martino is in­spired by mostly ev­ery­thing that sur­rounds her, in­clud­ing her Fort My­ers home and stu­dio.

Lia Martino uses vin­tage but­tons (above right) for her work. She draws

in­spi­ra­tion from her back­ground and suc­cess in fash­ion and style.

Weath­er­ing (above right/left) al­lows na­ture to dic­tate the end re­sult of Martino’s work. She cred­its her beloved son Dil­lon (above) for in­spir­ing the brand­ing name for her fash­ion de­signs.

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