Chris Martin- Art Scene (June 2010)
Chris Martin: A Solo Exhibition is the artist’s third exhibition at Daniel Weinberg Gallery. The intimate viewing space is well suited for Martin’s multi-media paintings and drawings rendered on loosely stretched canvas that are both delicate yet sturdy enough to support items heavily collaged and manipulated onto their surface. Entering the gallery space, the viewer is greeted by Sweet Dreams (Second Pillow Painting), leaning against the wall and supported by two white levels. A construction of oil, spray paint and collage on burlap and canvas, six pillows sprayed in electric yellow, pink, and blue spray paint glisten with an artificial sheen. The title Sweet Dreams for pillows that are not only rendered useless but do anything than invite sleep, is the first indication to the viewer of the humor Martin injects into his new body of work, further accomplished by the calculated word choice for his paintings and its interaction with the subject of the work. Last Optical Illusion of 2009, 2006-2009 instructs the viewer to “stare at the back dot while moving back and forth.” By fixing one’s eyes on the static black dot in the center of two fragmented circles and moving back and forth as Martin requests, the optical illusion becomes alive and the inner circle begins to move in a stuttered motion mirroring the mechanism of seeing. The raw and gritty style of Martin’s work is engaging, but perhaps the most intriguing component of the works are the artist’s initials on each piece along with a set of two dates indicating the duration Martin endured with each piece.