René Martucci received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, Davis where she studied with Robert Arneson, Manual Neri and Wayne Thiebaud. Working under the tough and inspirational guidance of Robert Arneson, Martucci developed solid craftsmanship and a desire to explore and challenge herself as an artist.
Martucci is a figurative artist, focusing on people and animals as her subject matter. Through her work Martucci seeks to represent thoughts, emotions, simple truths and states of mind. An abiding interest for Martucci is the retablo – a format stemming from her intrigue with her Italian heritage and from the Mexican culture in California – and a format allowing her to create intimate, autobiographical narratives. These stories address common, everyday scenes – walking the dog or watering the lawn–stories that are immediately accessible to the viewer.
One of the most exciting projects is Martucci’s work with renowned feminist artist Judy Chicago. Martucci sculpted eight cat portraits from Chicago’s book Kitty City: A Feline Book of Hours. The collaboration took place over a 6 month period during which time Chicago often came to work in Martucci’s Davis studio. Judy Chicago china painted the final sculptures. In October 2005, Martucci attended the unveiling at the prestigious Sculptural Objects and Functional Art exhibit in Chicago.
Martucci has devoted over two decades to sculpting lifelike human and animal figures and has received wide attention for her work. One of the most enjoyable aspects of her works is their ability to be displayed indoors or outside. Among the many outdoor installations of her work, two of her sculptures stand at the entrance of the famous Staglin Vineyard and Winery in Napa winery noted for it’s fine art collection.