115
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Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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Eddie Martinez
B. 1977
YOUR PAST IS MY FUTURE
signed and dated 11; signed with the artist's initials and dated 11 on the stretcher; signed and dated 11 on the reverse
oil and spray paint on canvas
152.4 by 213.4 cm. 60 by 84 in.
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Provenance

Peres Projects, Berlin
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2011

Exhibited

Berlin, Peres Projects, Seeker: Eddie Martinez, November - December 2011

Catalogue Note

Charged with a visceral energy that radiates from the palette of acid green and cherry red, Eddie Martinez’s Your Past Is My Future visually represents the artist’s passionate and frenzied artistic process. Beginning with a simple Sharpie sketch, these drawings are then magnified to match the size of the often-monumental canvases on which they are painted. These minimal outlines provide a framework for the oil paints, enamel, spray paint and occasional collage which create Martinez’s towering biomorphic compositions. His very physical process of painting, which he has likened to boxing, creates complexities of texture in which translucent layers of paint sit comfortably beside impasto masses of pigment. “It’s completely instinctual”, the artist muses. “I don’t know color theory, and I’m not concerned if I’m doing it right or if I’m doing it wrong. It’s just the way I do it” (Eddie Martinez cited in: Ted Loos, ‘Eddie Martinez’s Triumphant Abstractions Land at the Bronx Museum of the Arts’, Cultured Magazine, November 2018, online). Martinez’s expressive command of line and colour animates the painting in a way that is at once deliberate and intuitive.

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.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London