I don’t know the most about the art world or art history overall. I didn’t go to art school and I was a pretty late bloomer in my knowledge of many of the big everyone-knows-them names in the western visual arts canon. Also, I grew up without the Internet (my family didn’t have a web connection until I was in eighth grade – which was in 1996 so it wasn’t really much of a connection) so “immediate” access to information on Modigliani came from my parents Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set.
Apologies for the digression: I am not saying this as any sort of excuse. It doesn’t keep me from knowing what I like, knowing what affects me and inspires me and sometimes just stirs me. When I first saw a piece by Eddie Martinez I was moved me in a profound way and it reminded me that when it comes to art it doesn’t matter how much someone knows about art or how much art one has seen, all that matters is whether or not they are moved by it. The first piece that I had seen by the 36-year-old Brooklyn resident was his huge canvas entitled The Feast (above) and, given my religious upbringing I immediately read a certain Last Supper-ness into it (which naturally has been informed by the art that I’ve seen over the years). As I saw more of Martinez’s work I noticed a certain penchant toward portraiture (my own artwork often begins from a similar place) that is original in its seemingly crude mixed-media execution as it is in the attention that is paid in each canvas to the 2-dimensionally represented everything of a scene (see The Great Stare-Down below). Throughout the years, the mixed-media approach that Mr. Martinez take to his work has seen a number of experiments, lately into more strictly-speaking abstract artwork. This experimental approach coupled with the life that he gives to everyday items – he seems to appreciate that old standby, the table, in particular – which makes looking at any of Mr. Martinez work its own exercise in appreciating detail – his more abstract work, like 2013’s All Inclusive, still bear the marks of representation – in viewing the everyday in new ways, and in sharing in the joy of seeing through the eyes of another. Thank you, Eddie Martinez. I hope to see much more from you in the future.