Eddie Martinez’s paintings have the look of a Guston with their expressionistic markings, cubist deconstructions – bright, powerful colours and geometric shapes – and his personal iconography that is endlessly repeating itself in his compositions. Having started life as a graffiti artist Martinez is always looking at marks; making them, drawing them, scraping them, adding to them like you would a jazz riff layering upon layer until the sound, the colour creates its defined universe. His work is frenetic, large, boisterous and always linking back into art history with its still life’s and portraits, making them relevant for today – a channel for a relentless movement of information.
Martinez’s paintings come out of a practice of drawing that almost never stops, a steady outpouring of imagery, jumping from one canvas to the next, always collecting, drawing, moving, seeing, absorbing and then attempting to articulate this vast ocean of imagery in his work. It’s a maelstrom of energy that makes his paintings so fresh and yet so classic.
Here’s what he says about his work:
People look at the eyes in my paintings and wonder why they aren’t that big. People ask if they’re on mushrooms or if they’re scared or if they’re my eyes. They aren’t any of those things.
I have no idea what that means. Maybe we should stick to his wonderful paintings.
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