Tirzo Martha, Curacao 1965
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
T +5999 516 4546

Tirzo Martha’s urge and necessity to create art has its origin not in his ability to be creative but in his humanitarian and social engagement. As a child, Martha was not active in drawing or a creative person. He would respond critically to the conditions around him in his neighborhood. The decaying social conditions in his beloved neighborhood Buena Vista has troubled him day after day and so made him uneasy.
Although as a child he came from a comfortable home, he was still confronted with the reality of his neighbourhood on the streets and in his school. It was a reality that did not fit with the way that he envisioned how his surroundings could be. This clutch of contradictions continued to grow inside him and to reach a point where he lost control.
This brought him closer to what he has already seen in the past; Art. He saw in art the space and the infinite possibilities for strengthening his voice, and the urge to communicate.
Much like an anthropologist, he went into all the details that comprise the big puzzle of how people exist. Besides all of the oral and physical information that he gathered, he was also getting visual information that would be the point of departure for his artworks. He considered the living-conditions and the way people coped with their space and objects; their strength to visualise dreams, hopes, disappointments and states of mind. He would translate such information into ideas and structures that would become his body of work. This brought him to the installations, videos and performances that are very close to the living conditions and structures of the people. A big chaos consisting out of objects, materials and emotions are brought together in a baroque mold: a rough composition carrying the beauty of the people’s hopes and dreams. This voice is familiar but still has an unknown sound. Martha has undertaken performances and built his installations in public spaces, often in neighborhoods where his intention was for the work to fit in perfectly.


1985-1986 Akademia di Arte Korsou, Curacao
1987-1989 Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, The Netherlands
1989-1991 Molenaar Fashion School, The Netherlands
1999 Training and refreshment course dealing with problem children

Solo Exhibition

2011 Afro-Victimize, The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami
2010 San Juan San Pedro, Centre Contemporary Art, Dordrecht
2010 Performance Captain Caribbean “The Conquest of the Netherlands”, Amsterdam
2010 Performance Captain Caribbean, “The Initiation of Captain Caribbean” National Heroes Park, Kingston
2008 The Republic Of The Caribbean, Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao
2006 “Made in Curacao with a Dutch Component”, intervention
2004 “Digestion”, Art Studio Insight, Aruba
2003 “Destiny; Shunning the Journey”, BCN Art Directe, Barcelona
2002 “De Drenkeling”, Center For Contemporary Art Dordrecht
2001 “Requiem”, Curacao Museum
2000 “To do Stations of the Cross”, Curacao Post Office
1999 “Climaxx”, Buurtcentrum Otrobanda

Group Exhibition

2014 Exploring the Past To Envisage The Future, Curacao Museum
2013 Tropisch Koninkrijk, Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle, Netherlands
2013 Zwart & Wit, Tropen Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2013 Miradas Insobornables, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo MUNTREF, Argentina
2013 Bienal Del Sur, Panama
2012 Happy Island, Aruba Biennial, Aruba
2012 Noordkaap Tour, Noordkaap Art Space, The Netherlands
2012 Caribbean Crossroads of the World, Queens Museum of Art, New York
2012 Who MOre Sci-Fi Than Us, Kunsthal Kade, Amersfoort
2012 High Tech Low Tech, Oi Institute, Flamengo, Rio De Janeiro
2011 6a Bienal de Curitiba, Curitiba, Brazil
2011 The Global Contemporary. Art Worlds After 1989, Museum Contemporary Arts ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2011 16th Bienal de Cerveira, Cerveira, Portugal
2011 Adios Holanda, WhiteBox, Munich
2011 In the Spirit, Inter American Development Bank (Staff Gallery), Washington
2010 Antepasado di Futuro, Museum di Korsou
2010 Vous êtes ici, Habitation Clément, Martinique
2010 1st International Triennial of the Caribbean, Museo Arte Moderno, Rep. Dominicana
2010 Art Pie, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
2009 Licht aan Zee, Kunsthal 52, Den Helder
2009 Caribbean Crossroad of the World, Curacao
2009 Bienale de La Habana, Habana Cuba
2008 Jorge and Jimmy and the Piraten Club, Gallery Metis-NL together with David Bade, Amsterdam
2008 Caribe Synthesis, Museo de Arte Moderno, Rep. Dominicana
2007 Dealing with reality, Museum of Modern Art Arnhem
2007 Infinite Island, Brooklyn Museum, New York
2007 Caribbean Crosscurrents, Art Miami, Miami
2006 Galvanize, CCA 7, Trinidad & Tobago
2006 International Assemblage Artist exhibition, Gallery 24, Berlin
2006 Art Channel, Cornette de Saint Cyr, Arludik gallery, Paris
2005 “Release”, Net Gallery, Florence
2005 After Hiroshima, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK
2005 Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence
2005 “Lieve Koningin hierbij schenk ik U..”, Gallery Bloemhof, Curacao
2005 “After Hiroshima”, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London
2005 “Arad Biennale, Arad, Romania
2004 “Inyeccion Crioyo”, Exhibition by RBTT Bank at Art Studio Insight, Aruba
2004 “International Assemblage Artist exhibition”, Gallery 24, Berlin
2004 “Kere den Arte”, Gallery Landhuis Bloemhof, Curacao
2003 Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence
2003 “Flores”, BCN Art Directe, Barcelona
2003 “International Assemblage Artist Exhibition”, Gallery 24, Berlin
2003 “De Erfenis Van Slavernij”, Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam
2003 Gallery International, Baltimore
2003 “Laman”, Riffort Village, Curacao
2003 “Resusita”, Temporary Art Gallery, Curacao
2003 “Estetica Nobo”, Acces Art Gallery, Aruba
2003 “Memorianan fragmenta y su marginalidat”, Galeria Insight, Aruba
2003 “Made In Curacao”, Gallery Bloemhof, Curacao
2002 “Otrabanda Vieja” Temporary art Gallery, Curacao
2002 Gallery “Le Balize Art”, Curacao
2002 “Salon Internacional de la Plastica”, Santiago, Cuba
2002 “Forever Green”, Galeria Insight, Aruba
2001 “Artvision ’01”, Villa Maria, Curacao
2001 “Sè Suá”, duo exhibition in Oud Krispijn by the Center for Contemporary Art, The Netherlands
2001 “IV Biennial of the Caribbean”, Museo de Rte Moderno, Rep. Dominicana
2001 “Galeria Mi Soño”, Dordrecht
2001 “Art Project 2001”, Curaçao Museum, Curacao
2001 “I came by boat”, Maritiem Museum, Curacao
2001 “Open Monumentendag”, Curacao
2001 “Project San Pedro”, environmental art project, together with artist Yubi Kirindongo, Curacao
2000 “Watamula the Breathing Holes”, International artist, workshop Galeria Bloemhof, Curacao
2000 “Laman Chiki”, Maritiem Museum, Curacao
1998 “Artistanan Di Kòrsou”, Curacao Museum
1993 “Artistanan Di Kòrsou”, Curacao Museum


2011 Bauhaus, community Art project for The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2009 Commissioned to build 3 altars for an exhibition about religion in Curacao at the Museum of Anthropology, Curacao
2008 Commissioned to build an installation with objects from the 17th and 18th Century at the National Museum of Anthropology, Curacao
2008 Arte Swa/IBB art project in the neighborhood Buena Vista with schools from this neighborhood, Curacao
2007 Art project in Venserpolder to start a radio station for teens, Amsterdam
2007 Arte Swa project The Hague
2006 Initiator, together with David Bade and Nancy Hoffmann, of Instituto Buena Bista, Curacao Center for Contemporary art, Curacao
2006 Arte Swa workshop with the different cultures living in the city of Nijmegen
2006 Arte Swa workshop with students at the Juan Pablo Duarte school, Curacao
2006 Workshop Arte Swa with the neighborhood Kortijn, Curacao
2005 Workshops Arte Swa at Verriet Instituut (patients with a physical and/or mental handicap), Curacao
2005 Workshop Arte Swa at Amsterdam Bijlmer with 750 participants from the Bijlmer district, Amsterdam
2005 Workshops with Foundation Arte Swa: workshop at Capriles Kliniek (institution for psychiatric patients), Curacao
2004 “Digesting Yourself”, workshop for artists, Gallery Insight, Aruba
2003 Art workshop with children at Public School, Johnson, Vermont
2003 Art workshop for unemployed people to stimulate their creativity, DWI, Curacao
2002 Project to reorganize the Akademia di Arte Kòrsou, Curacao
2002 “Reclasering; Recycling the spirit”, art workshops at the prison Bon Futuro by Tirzo Martha, Curacao
2001 International Work-camp, Tirzo Martha gives art workshops to a group of international volunteers, Curacao
2001 Project “Sè Suá” in Krispijn Dordrecht
2001 Art Project 2001, workshops and lectures by Tirzo Martha and Yubi Kirindongo on all the islands of the Dutch Caribbean
2000 Art at the Vlakte of San Pedro; Creating an open air gallery, Curacao
2000 International artists workshop “Watamula, Curacao; organized by CCA7 (Trinidad) and The Triangle Trust (London)
1999 Painting of a mural with children in Bonaire


2013 Scout for the proposing of artists for the making of a new official portrait of the King of The Netherlands
2009 Commissioned by the commission West Indian Literature of the University of Amsterdam to create a portrait of Curacao writer and poet Elis Juliana
2009 Commission to build an installation for the Mai Foundation, Curacao
2008 Designed a sculpture and a poster for 70th Anniversary of Parliament of the former Antilles
2007 Commissioned to build an installation with objects of the National Archeological and Anthropological Museum of the Netherlands Antilles
2005 Commissioned by the Government of the former Netherlands Antilles to make an artwork for the Art Cabinet of the Queen of The Netherlands
2005 Commissioned to design a special coin to celebrate the silver jubilee of the Queen of The Netherlands
2004 Commissioned to design a special Euro Coin
2004 Commissioned by Gallery Bloemhof to make a special piece for an exhibition about art and religion
2000 Commission by Notary Office to make 8 pieces of assemblages for office
1992-1996 Commissioned to design furnitures for different offices
1992 Commissioned to design furnitures and interior of an office


2010 Special guest artist 1st Triennial of the Caribbean, Museo Arte Moderno, Dominican Republic
2010 Nominated for the International Fritschy Prize, Museum Het Domein, The Netherlands
2009 Cola Debrot Prize for culture; cultural prize by the Government of Curacao
2009 Basic Stipend granted by The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture
2003 The Reed Foundation Award, New York


Notary Office Van Der Pluijm Vrede, Curacao
Notary Office F. Gijsbertha, Sint Maartin
Luidens & Luidens Lawyers, Curacao
Neven Tax, The Netherlands
Oder 24, Berlin
Museum Of Curacao
Gallery Bloemhof, Curacao
Collection of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
Various collectors in Aruba, Curacao, USA, The Netherlands, Belgium, Japan and Germany

Visiting Lecturer

2013 Master Class and lecture at the University Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux,France
2013 Guest teacher at the department of Architecture of the University of Netherlands Antilles,
2013 Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean. A collaboration between The Open University of London and The University of Leiden
2012 Guest teacher at the Social Development department University of The Netherlands Antilles, Curacao
2010 Lecture/interview with Prof. Kitty Zijlmans of the University of Leiden at Centre Contemporary Art Dordrecht
2010 Lecture for students and public at Edna Manley Art Academy, Kingston
2008 Lecture about is own work at the National Archeological and Anthropological Museum, Curacao
2007 Guest teacher at the Masters of Art & Design Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam
2007 Masters of Art & Design Sandberg institute, lecture about works Tirzo Martha by Tirzo Martha, Amsterdam
2006 Guest teacher at the Masters of Art & Design Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam
2005 Guest teacher at the Masters of Art & Design Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam
2004 “Tradition, Art and Tirzo; lecture about the developments in his work and the impact of it in the community, Aruba
2003 Lecture at schools about his work, Curacao
2003 Art Alphabetize, lecture about the link between work and the community, Curacao
2002 Lectures at schools about his work, Curacao
2002 Lecture about his work, Pictura, Dordrecht
2001 Lecture about his work, Rotterdam
2001 Lecture about his work, Juliana’s, Saba
2001 Lecture about his work, Cultureel Centrum Curacao
2001 Lecture about his work, Jubilee Library, Sint Maarten
2001 Lecture about his work, Library, Sint Eustatius
2001 Lecture about his work, Sentro di Bario Nikiboko, Bonaire
2001 Lecture about his work, Instituto di Cultura, Aruba

Other activities

2006- Co-founder and teacher at the Instituto Buena Bista – Curacao Center for Contemporary Art
2006- Teaching/preparing young talents at Instituto Buena Bista for a career in the visual arts
2005- Giving guidance and support to teenagers in a problamatic district of Curacao
1999 Art teacher at a continuing-education course for teeners
1999 Creative activities with elderly people at a home for the elderly
1992-1998 Designed furniture for offices or private residences