The atellier

the atellier the atellier

About Martin Hughes

Born in 1969 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Self made artist, only influenced by his adventurous travelling spirit that pushed him deep into the Latin continent from North to South and East to West. The amazing variety of cultures, people, and lifestyles he experienced impacted strongly in his art. Using a colourful style he shares the magnificent of Latin passion very much influenced by the afro-American musical contribution to South America.

Hughes art around the world

the atellier


1- Where were you born? Did you grow up where you were born?

I was born in Montevideo –Uruguay but raised in a farm in Paysandú, 400 kms away from Montevideo. A great place on earth to learn from nature and enjoy family life.

2- Where are your ancestors from?

UK, Italy, France and Spain. If you add to it the Latin way of living, that’s me: European name with Latin blood. A mix of gentle, loud, sophistication, hard work and passion.

3- What was your childhood like?

The best. Fantastic. I am the middle one of a family of 5 kids. We all have 1 year in between. We enjoyed very much the contact with nature, and all the small and most beautiful expressions life has to offer. Sunsets and sunrises, plants growing from seeds, the smell of rain, birds building their nests in springtime…all this great experience shaped my personality, attention to detail and definitely my sensitivity.

4 - Describe in a few lines about your upbringing.

Belonging to a big family, I learnt about unconditional respect, trust, love and support. My father and my mother did a great job in teaching us all the right values. They invested most of their life on us. It seems cliché … but if I would have had the chance to change one single instant of my life, I would not…

5- What inspired you growing up, any fun, sad, profound stories to recount?

Of course during a lifetime you will go through all of them, but clearly I am driven by happiness. I do things that either make me happy or drive me to happiness. What is not I would not do.

6- Who inspired you through your life?

9 persons, 8 belong to my family, one is a best friend, ... and the moon.

7- What medium do you best like to work with?

I would say oil and they account for more than ¾ of my work. But what I really like is to mix. I like to respect tradition but to defy convention. Sometimes I start a painting with water colors, then emphasize parts with oil and finish them with acrylic. Each medium has its own role when used separately, why not doing the same in one piece.

8- Where would you dream of hanging one of your pieces of work?

In the dining room of each of the persons that inspired me in life (I am more or less half way there!).

9- What was your favorite gallery showing experience?

It’s not exactly a gallery showing experience but having been chosen as an artist to exhibit my paintings in the tallest building of the world (Burj Khalifa, Dubai-UAE) is something I feel really proud of. As I say now….I cannot get higher than that as an artist. But all of my shows are wonderful and different, Montevideo, Rio, Barcelona, Zurich ,,,,all of them..


10- How do you work, your surroundings, your habits and needs when working?

It’s a lonely moment. A long lonely moment… You go deep in yourself,….to be honest its quite difficult to explain. It is a very magic moment. I get really disconnected to the world. I have changed my atelier a couple of times in the last years, but they all have in common big windows, nice views, good natural light. Usually I listen to music and have some good wine. That special moment when you are face to face with a big white empty canvas….is great, and from there onwards feelings come in colors, shapes brushstrokes. My source of inspiration is either things I ve seen, or feelings I am going through.

11- How do you describe yourself?

A happy and very thankfull person for the life I have the chance to live.

12- How do you want to live your life?

As I am living it now: being happy every day. Enjoying still all the small but deep moments life and nature have to offer. n2vatj

13- Is there a time in your life until now that you believed you have done your best work?

I think I ve been permanently evolving though masterpieces come at any time. It just happens. Its one of those days that the brushstroke, the color, the tone, the media, the theme…everything go along well.

14- What is the one question as an artist, you would like to be asked by an interviewer?

Why do you paint so many different styles and themes?

15- When you heard your art was chosen to decorate the tallest building in the world (Burj Khalifa, Dubai-UAE) how did you feel?

Fantastic! Dubai is a part of my life. I watched the Burj Khalifa grow every day during 3 years. Having my Art in the tallest and most refined piece of art in the world is not a small thing…has been an honor.

16- How long does it take you to do a painting?

Around one month from the start till the end, of course I paint many more than 12 a year but usually have like 6 or 7 pieces I am doing at the same time. I would like to explain you in detail how my creative process works.