Eddie Martinez

News and Updates

17.09 – 17.10.2009

Martinez's universe is populated by a colorful cocktail of stylized figures and abstract shapes. Exotic flowers, birds, sports equipment, and figures with exaggerated eyes as well as dots, lines, and patterns are fighting for space on the canvas. The compositions stress the plane and are expressive, playful, and dynamic.


Old acquaintances are present. Boxing gloves, the large appealing eyes, and bananas are all part of the fixture in Martinez’s works, but the motives are tested and new variations created. Some places the banana is represented only by its yellow colour, and elsewhere an Amanita is reduced to red-white dot formations.


The exhibition consists of both paintings and drawings of which the latter are constituted by a suite of four "dreamers." The painting Opponent of Dreams contrasts with the dreamy figures as the helmet-carrying guy equipped with boxing gloves and with his hands raised in defense takes a stand against the unrealistic dreamers. As suggested, peace and harmony do not stand alone. Several titles equip the works with dark undertones using martial metaphors, such as Up In Arms. This title clashes with the harmless table arrangement, and as the blue bird looks far more scared than prepared to fight the collision appears ironical. Martinez is not weighed down with seriousness; instead his works shine with irony and humour.


The content, including the gallery of characters points at inspiration from comics as well as Warhol's pop art, in which the banana among others got the lead role. The boxing glove relates to an immortalized artistic clash in the ‘80s between Warhol and Basquiat dressed in boxing outfits. The legacy of Basquiat and Guston’s expressive figurative painting is also noticeable. Martinez is working diligently with the art historical reservoir which he explores and comments on. Classic genres such as still life and portrait painting are rethought refreshingly, and the expressive and naive brush gives 17th century flower piece a major boost.


Eddie Martinez was born in 1977 and lives and works in Brooklyn. He has recently had solo exhibitions in New York, Stockholm and Seoul, but this is his first solo show in Denmark. Here Martinez is also showing a new suite of dry points and lithographs published by Fourth Estate, New York.

On the occasion of the exhibition the book News and Updates with a text by Max Henry is published in collaboration with Seems Books, San Francisco.