• SANTA MONICA, California
  • /
  • May 13, 2022

  • Email
Images courtesy of Building Bridges Art Exchange
Images courtesy of Building Bridges Art Exchange


A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and

Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce, Mexico, Curated by Marisa Caichiolo


JUNE 4, 2022

6:00-8:30 PM



June 4th - August 6th 2022


Bergamot Santa Monica

2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit F2

Santa Monica, CA 90404

T: 323.893.3924 | 12pm - 5pm


Los Angeles, CA (May 13, 2022) - Building Bridges Art Exchange continues to cultivate a diverse art scene, once again bringing culture and meaningful work to their Santa Monica space, which has become a mainstay for both the local community and the greater LA art world.

With their latest show, J.J. Martin’s “Role Models,” Building Bridges and curator Marisa Caicholo bring the traveling show from the Mexican artist to their loyal and curious community.


Within these works, Martin reflects on the state of our current fast-paced world, where most people are focused on the pursuit of success and material gains and where the failure to meet society’s expectations can have devastating effects on an individual’s life on a physical, social and economic level. He researched the stories of Nobel Prize winners whose exemplary behavior and lives established them as role models in the eyes of regular citizens, particularly the younger generations, ultimately deciding to feature renowned politicians such as Barack Obama or Al Gore, activists like Rigoberta Menchú, Liu Xiaobo, Malala Yousafzai, and other influential figures.


Martin’s new body of work consists of large-scale portraits painted against backgrounds of varying intensity and a subseries entitled “Mandalas,” created with the intention of combining the concept of “Role Models” with the notion of healing our society in a post-Covid world. Along with this deconstructing of role models on traditional canvases, J.J. Martin also invites society to enter into an immersive experience —specially prepared for the sample— which recreates the experience of visual meditations with mandalas using his artwork. The paintings create a space for viewers to connect with their inner selves and become –then and there– role models in their daily lives or community.


About J.J. Martin

JJ Martin is a Mexican artist currently living and working between Mexico City and Los Angeles, CA. His work, which depicts contemporary-looking characters, is an approach to the portrait. For his protagonists in each portrait, he uses models that he finds in daily life or who are extracted from his imagination. Each protagonist acts as a visual representation of an absence or presence. Observing his work, we can confirm that each of Martin’s pieces are a true reflection of how he develops conversations and relationships with others. The exhibition “Role Models” is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.


About Building Bridges Art Exchange                                        

Building Bridges Art Exchange is dedicated to actively engaging diverse artists, leaders, audiences, and supporters through our mission of cultivating cultural understanding through the arts. Established in 2005 by Marisa Caichiolo, BBAX was created as a platform that enables artists from across the globe to connect, engage in peaceful dialogue, and create narratives that explore political issues and social movements which impact different regions of the world. The organization was launched to engage communities of different ethnic and financial backgrounds in a socio-political exploration through the lens of contemporary art, through our programs. Years later, Building Bridges Art Exchange continues to build and sustain relationships with Ministries of Culture, museums, and other cultural institutions, giving artists all over the world the opportunity to openly explore and influence social and political issues in today’s world. Our current space in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Arts Center offers rotating exhibitions from around the world, artist residencies, as well as lectures, and workshops as part of our educational program. Diversity is at the core of our organizational values. Over the years, we have hosted 100’s of artists from over 34 countries. Our Board is composed of a diverse group of notable artists and professionals from different industries and six countries.


Media Inquiries: Hijinx PR | Heidi Johnson | | 323.204.7246

Heidi Johnson
(323) 204-7246

Building Bridges Art Exchange
2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit F2
Santa Monica, California
(323) 893-3924

  • Email

Related Press Releases