ANTONI MARÍ (Spain, Ibiza, Dalt Vila 1906-1974 / act: Ibiza)
Antoni Marí was born on 3 February 1906 in Dalt Vila of Ibiza, Spain. His parents Jaume Mari and Catalina Ribas were from San Antonio de Portmany, which is why the artist was known in his homeland as 'Portmany'. Marí spent h is childhood in Dalt Vila, where his mother worked as assistant in the Saint Augustine convent. At the age of fourteen Marí had to work to help the family financially, so he started as a painter of walls. In 1924 participated in a group exhibition organized by the Circle of the Ibizan Salinera Port. Intending to become known as a professional painter, Marí went to Barcelona in 1924, where he grew to the rank of master painter of the guild. On his way back to Ibiza, he began collaborating with the painter, decorator and archaeologist Antoni Palau. From his collaboration with Palau, Marí inherited the love of collecting. His artistic vocation was very strong, and since 1940 he decided to devote himself to exclusively to painting. Thus, he turned to Narciso Puget Vines (1874-1960) to learn the techniques of naturalist painting. Marí had acknowledged Puget Vines' great influence on him, and always spoke of this teacher with great respect.
Marí was indelibly influenced by Portmany, which had become a veritable museum of traditional objects and typical peasant dresses, jewelry and furniture, most of which are now preserved in the house known as 'Del Rey Moro' of Dalt Vila. According to Daniel Giralt-Miracle, Marí slept on a straw bed and dressed in typical Ibizan peasant dress. Marí executed the bulk of his artwork in china ink on paper applied with reed, which affected the drawing's structure and composition. He also painted in oils small pictures with landscapes, marine or urban vistas of Dalt Vila, all of exquisite craftmanship. The objective of most of his art was to catch the spirit of life, as evidenced in his Street Scenes. He would spend his day with a notebook and a pot of ink, recording on paper the scenes of everyday life and the traffic of people in the streets. He was to become an inseparable part of Ibiza. Antoni Marí died on 22 May 1974 in Ibiza.
GIRALT-MIRACLE, DANIEL Antoni Marí Ribas "Portmany": el Dibujante de Ibiza (The Artist of Ibiza) 1978 Ediciones Polígrafa, Barcelona