Puerto Rico Painter Jose Torres Martino Dies at 94


By: Danica Coto, Associated Press
SAN JUAN (AP).- Jose Antonio Torres Martino, a Puerto Rican painter and writer who helped create and expand art and journalism institutions on the U.S. island, died Friday. He was 94. Torres died at Pavia Hospital in San Juan after a prolonged illness, said Margarita Fernandez Zavala, a close friend and an art professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Bayamon. She said she wasn’t sure about the specific illness. Torres was born in 1916 in Puerto Rico’s second largest city, Ponce, whose setting on the island’s southern coast inspired one of his more famous abstract paintings. His voice was well-known to Puerto Ricans from the 1940s through the 1980s, Fernandez said. “He was one of the pioneers of radio and television on the island,” she said. “He was a man of elegant words.” But Torres was a private man who did not seek the spotlight, she added. “He was soft and sweet and tender,” Fernandez said. “Everyone sought his opinion, something that