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b. 1977, USA

Eddie Martinez Biography

Interested in painting from a young age, American artist Eddie Martinez never completed any formal art education, starting and leaving two different art schools in Boston. He is largely self-taught, and his working style and choice of subject matter was influenced by the urban culture and iconography he grew up surrounded by. 

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Martinez is recognised for his bold line and handling of colour. Even without the benefit of a formal art education, he has managed to develop a mature style, drawing from well-established classical conventions of portraiture, still life and allegorical narratives, filtering it all through coarse brushwork. His gestural blocks of colour and strong lines recall the concerns and forms of semi-abstraction, yet they contain distinct figurative elements and a sense of personal iconography. He combines oil, enamel, acrylic and spray paint with marker, pencil and collage (usually on canvas) to create a variety of textural and colour contrasts—aggressive and full of energy. 

Late critic Glenn O'Brien described Martinez’s work as being all ‘about colour and what it means’, and this sentiment can be seen in his Mandala #4 (Open Night) (2016)—where bold colours and shapes jostle with each another as though fighting to remain in formation—and in Lip Service (2015), where bright forms emerge sparingly from the heavily textured background. These textured scribbles and slashes of white on white seem to hint at other colours lurking beneath the surface or about to be liberated from the canvas. Delicate strokes of pencil highlight the thickness of the paint and hint at hidden depths. 

Martinez has referred to his process as that of boxing: approaching the canvas like his opponent, stepping forward to make contact with the canvas and then stepping back to regroup before he connects again. Making sketches in spray paint, adding lines and blocks and colours, he works rapidly: a demonstration of the anxiety he harnesses for his creativity. The speed and the aggression with which he seems to attack each painting is seen in every brushmark and brings to the surface a material coarseness. He has constructed a bridge between the aesthetic and cultural appeal of street art and the concepts and dialect of art history. 

Amy Millar | Ocula | 2017

Eddie Martinez Featured Artworks

BH Grid No. 1 by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezBH Grid No. 1, 2020Oil and acrylic on canvas
30 x 40 inches
Sold
Blum & Poe
Untitled by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezUntitled, 2016Oil paint, ink, graphite, and spray paint on paper
55.9 x 76.2 cm
Gin Huang Gallery Contact Gallery
BH Stack #49 by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezBH Stack #49, 2020Oil on linen
101.6 x 76.2 cm
Hauser & Wirth Contact Gallery
Fine Ants (Black Out) by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezFine Ants (Black Out), 2018Lithograph
91.5 x 70 cm
Asia Art Archive
The Deal in Blue by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezThe Deal in Blue, 2020Oil paint, acrylic paint, and spray paint on canvas
71 1/2 x 108 x 1 1/2 inches
Sold
Blum & Poe
Washed out by Eddie Martinez contemporary artwork
Eddie MartinezWashed out, 2020Oil paint on linen
101.6 x 76.2 cm
Sold
Blum & Poe

Eddie Martinez Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Artists for New York at Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, New York
Closed
1–22 October 2020 Group Exhibition Artists for New York Hauser & Wirth548 West 22nd Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Sympathetic Magic, organised by Bill Powers at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Closed
22 September–24 October 2020 Group Exhibition Sympathetic Magic, organised by Bill Powers Blum & PoeLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Kaleidoscopes: Contemporary Portraiture at Perrotin, Hong Kong
Closed
20 June–8 August 2020 Group Exhibition Kaleidoscopes: Contemporary Portraiture PerrotinHong Kong

Eddie Martinez Represented By

Gin Huang Gallery contemporary art gallery in Taichung City, Taiwan Gin Huang Gallery Taichung City

Eddie Martinez In Ocula Magazine

Coronavirus Forces Sotheby’s to Relocate Hong Kong Auctions Ocula News Coronavirus Forces Sotheby’s to Relocate Hong Kong Auctions Hong Kong, 24 February 2020

The modern and contemporary art auctions have been delayed and moved to the other side of the world.

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Taipei Dangdai 2020: Local and Global Ocula Feature Taipei Dangdai 2020: Local and Global By Penny Liu, Taipei

At the second edition of Taipei Dangdai, global capital gestured towards Taipei's rising status in the global art world.

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Eddie Martinez In Related Press

Dancing around Shanghai Related Press Dancing around Shanghai 4 November 2019, ArtReview

In Production: Art and the Studio System, Yuz Museum, 7 November – 1 March Every week is art week somewhere, but not every week is art week in Shanghai. So you'll be wanting to be there during the first week of November, when the city's twin art fairs, Art021 and West Bund Art & Design are on view. But the fun of the fairs is not the only...

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