Nora Martin Hall is a contemporary representational painter working primarily in oil paintings, and utilizing a wide range of techniques, from classical painting methods to photorealism, creating trippy, large scale portraits and installations. Requiring thousands of hours of focused training and dedication to execute, she blends the innate need to be spontaneous and reckless too. Coming from familial artist roots, Nora is a fourth generation artist (her grandmother painted landscapes in Mexico) and grew up in a lower-middle-class family in the inland empire. She couldn’t afford art training and was self taught, dropping out of art school four times and tattooing when she was sixteen. Nora painted all of the murals on the Harry Potter Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood when she was 26, and then started painting big oil paintings and creating installations. Nora uses real life as a canvas: from living in hotel rooms on Fremont Street in Las Vegas and getting drunk in tattoo shops in Fontana California, to knocking out hundred foot murals in under a week. She bottled up the struggle and experienced it back in the studio, injecting it into her work. 

Nora draws inspiration from artists with the least formal education, the ones who are creating the most relatable and real work. In regards to some of her out-of-the-box works, Nora says, “I cut a bunch of panels into shapes, painted them and suspended them from a ceiling. I spent a few years building and painting theme park rides and it made me think differently about what painting could be. I was trying to reimagine oil painting as it might look as an experience instead of a flat thing stuck to a wall.”