Prowling through the web late last year, I was spellbound by one of Jaime Martinez animated GIFs. With her back to the camera, M.I.A. looped into life in front of an ocean of black. Fascinated by the technique I tried my hand at home but nothing remotely matched up. Breathing depth and time into static imagery through this lo-fi medium, Martinez’s marvelous compositions offer us haunting and timeless fragments of his subjects. Most recently the Mexico-city based visual artist has been signed by M.I.A.’s NEET Recordings label. Don’t Panic tracked down the humble visual artist to quiz him on his work.
Who is Jaime Martinez?
I’m a 32 years old photographer from Mexico.
How did you get into GIF making? We’re you already a photographer?
Before GIF maker, I have worked as a photographer since 2003. Lately that’s been more focused on concerts and some fashion, but I have been taking photos of different stuff since the beginning, always experimenting. One of those periods of experimentation made me try to make animations with my photos. I was a GIF lover for many years but I wanted to make originals with my own photos. I taught myself to do different kind of animations like stop-motion or 3D techniques.

What do you enjoy most about making GIF’s?

Somehow I like the idea that it’s a small file which can be seen anywhere on the world and that it’s always in eternal loop, and (at the moment) can’t be printed like that.

When did you first start producing pictures in this format?

In 2007 I started to modify photos I was finding in the Internet, but it was just for fun and to make some emoticons for msn to share with my friends. Later, in 2008, I started to do it with original photos, and then in 2009 I got more serious on that.

Some of your work is breath taking, how do you do it?

Thank you. If you’re talking about the gifs, technically, it is not so hard, nothing you can’t find on Google. Besides the technique, what’s left is my style and my vision.

Do you consider yourself a photographer or a visual artist?

A visual artist who can be sometimes a photographer.

How do you choose your subject matter?

I’m very intuitive about that. I’m always watching and feeling what I see. Sometimes it can be a building, or a tree, or a woman. Or, a woman in a tree and a building behind. More than choosing subjects I think I look for situations.

What are your personal favourtie images. either yours or anyone elses?

That’s a very hard question for me, is like asking what’s your favorite song, I have some favorites images but it changes often! Right now this is my favorite image:
It is from a russian artist with the nickname Uno Moralez. And from my images, right now this one;
How did you working with MIA and ultimately being signed for neet come about?
I’m so happy that she found my work in some blog, not sure which one. But after that she wrote me an email, and invited me to go to take photos of a concert of her last year. Later when I got to know her personally we started to talk and she told me about projects I could do for NEET and then offer to join the label, I was amazed that she liked my stuff that much.
What are you most looking forward to in terms of work?
This year I will be mainly working for NEET, for sure good projects will come. I’m looking forward to being able to travel and to make more images in different locations. I like to see new places and meet new people.
Where can we find more of your work?
My portfolio and my tumblr which I update more often and for the news and daily twitter nonsense.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The new MIA album will be amazing!! I can tell you that. And I’m so proud and happy to be part of NEET in this period of the career of Maya and to be collaborating with her projects.