He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, "I believe, to understand the workings of the Spirits roaming the Universe, one must first become aware of its existence. Once you do, it is only a matter of stepping through the door. It is impossible to look back as you explore your subtle surroundings and realize the wonder of all the infinite possibilities that exist around us. As an artist, you need not labor to capture the unexplained in a photograph or in a painting. With openness, it's presence makes itself known. Be open and keen, then your work will become a living entity"
His philosophy and ideas coalesce in the exhibition, “Homage, A Tribute To The Spirits,” which will be presented at Henry Gregg Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 226 in Brooklyn's DUMBO section. It will showcase twelve oil paintings and six fine art photographs.
Look Again An exhibition of paintings and photographs by Andre' Martínez.
What makes you stop unexpectedly before a face painted on canvas, reflected in a photograph? You've seen countless faces in every day life, countless, the images forwarded as art, news and history.
Yet, there are times when an image seemingly similar to others, beckons one to stop and look again.
It's a magnetism drawing one into a scene. One transcends rational observation for more penetrating, revealing characteristics that trigger recognition of a profound state of being exuded from the depths of the third and forth dimensions.
A face and its surroundings move, taking shapes, released from fixed patterns by no external manipulation. One comes face to face, in communion with mysterious forces inhabiting the subject.
Forces we know to exist in ourselves in dream states, in wakened naked embrace of the spiritual, within the soul of our existence, named and no named.
Language recedes giving way to feelings.
A face emits an aura embracing our very own inner sanctums of self consciousness.
Standing before the image one realizes sensations embedded in the psychic fabric of the mind; elements haunting and liberating, painful and ecstatic.
Andre Martinez employs the mediums of paint and photography to journey the viewer into the realm of the para-normal. I prefer to call his work - transport to the spirit world.
The exhibition, his fifth, is a culmination of three years work.
A master jazz musician and gifted artisan, Martinez transposes his base mastery onto the visual plain via multiplicity of layered oils, inks, varnish, chalks, lead and Venetian plasters. Bold and free, after utilizing brushes he shapes his subjects, tableau, by hand, fusing the material to the visceral.
In this fashion the painter surrenders to the hypnotic.
The results are captivating, enabling the viewer a portal into the micro cosmos of life forms, entry into the known, inexplicable caverns of that which is so often over looked in ones self, in the surrounding universe.
Martinez is at times, a contemporary spiritual iconographer representing religious figures to convey mysteries both enchanting and sorrowful.
Drawing inspiration for this show from Leonardo da Vinci, Degas, Rembrandt, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Courbet and Bacon, Martinez sees himself as a vessel carrying on from the masters, neither imitator nor self conscious stylist. Continuing lessons learned from decades of jazz drumming and percussion Martinez strives to " free my hands, my mind and my soul ", confident in the end result. The foundation of his approach learned from a decade long membership in the orchestra of legendary avant-garde jazz leader, Cecil Taylor: to be " free, fearless and precise."
Complimenting the dozen paintings on exhibit are a small number of photos. Using the camera to illustrate the presence of the para normal, the spiritual, Martinez shot seemingly mundane, unremarkable scenes of house furnishings stirring in normal light using no more than a simple lens and film. The images caught are surreal, suggesting, isolating, a spirit presence.
This exhibition is designed to create an atmosphere of spiritual dialog between painter, subject and visitor. It can easily extend as a long journey, a metaphysical voyage. All one need do, as I have done, is look, look again.