Your Past Is My Future slips effortlessly from figuration to abstraction employing the artists’ distinctive iconography of floating heads and nebulous forms over swathes of electric colour. Part of a series of nine paintings collectively titled Seeker, Your Past Is My Future was exhibited alongside them at Peres Projects in Berlin in 2011. Its heavily worked surface and staggering size recall the style of the heroic painters of the Abstract Expressionist movement, though with a decidedly more light-hearted approach. This shift reflects a trend in art over the last sixty years toward the fixation of the unconscious into every facet of human activity. Despite a more care-free method of painting, Martinez’s compositions maintain a level of control in that they are somewhat planned before their execution and draw from popular culture and art historical referents. Inspired by graffiti and cartoons, many have compared Martinez’s works to those by Basquiat, the influence of which can be noted in the multitude of skull-like decapitated heads which litter the foreground of Your Past is My Future. His mature style cites classical traditions of portraiture, still-life, and allegorical narrative painting, filtered through coarse brushwork, bold use of form and semi-abstraction.
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