Javier Martin (Ceuta, Spain, 1985) is a multidisciplinary artist who bases his creative exploration on the careful observation of his surroundings, detecting in it semiotic relationships that might otherwise pass by unnoticed to an unperceptive or untrained viewer. With this approach, the artist constructs situations that invite reflection on impending matters in today’s world.

read more

His pieces make us confront the drama of immigration, war, the consumption of weapons and its increasing global market, brands as symbols of social strata, superficiality as the dominant attitude in contemporary society, money as the focus of human pursuit, political strategies and games, the control of individuals by the banks, erroneous standards of well-being and beauty created by advertising, rampant consumption, and the destruction of the planet as a result of man’s abuse of natural resources, among other themes. His works carry eloquent meaning and profound political messages, inducing viewers to reflect on their own behavior and social responsibility.

Martin started painting with oils at the age of seven. He had his first solo show at age nine; however, he never enrolled in art school, nor did he allow himself to be influenced by formal artistic training. He preferred to work and learn different trades on his own, such as carpentry, furniture painting and sign making, among others. These experiences allowed him to learn how to handle numerous tools and explore the possibilities of an infinite number of materials that he incorporates into his works today. He supplemented his artistic development by reading about the universal history of art and making frequent visits to exhibitions and museums around the world. At the same time, his experiences traveling and living in different countries in Europe, Asia and America turned him into a great observer; he learned as much from people as from daily situations far removed from his own background. Through his work, Martin proposes relationships among forms, surfaces, textures, scenarios and situations in which objects used on a daily basis relate to each other in unexpected ways. In this way, upon observing his works, we find ourselves before a series of semiotic associations as numerous and disparate as our meaningful experiences and visual repertoires are rich.

Martin has dabbled equally in painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and video art. His works are inspired by Pop Art, Post-Minimalism and Conceptual Art, and in many cases they constitute clever winks to important voices in contemporary art like Maurizio Cattelan, Mark Jenkins, Juan Muñoz and Urs Fischer, among others. With his work, this talented artist demonstrates his capacity to masterfully manipulate and relate materials and situations in order to construct sharp visual metaphors.