About Melvin Martinez
Deeply invested in the history and materiality of his medium, Melvin Martinez produces mixed media paintings, as well as sculptures and installations about painting. Through his work, he negotiates his place in the continuum of painters, while inviting us to (re)consider how we view this ever-evolving art. Artists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, and such game-changing movements as Pointillism, fuel his work. “[My] paintings renegotiate [my] debt to the optics of Pointillism, anarchy of Abstract Expressionism, resplendence of Color Field painting or embodied summons of gestural abstraction,” he has said. Martinez slathers so much paint—in a riot of colors, and mixed with materials like glitter, crumpled newspaper, and costume jewelry—onto his large-scale canvases that their surfaces appear frosted, at once irresistible and grotesque. His allover, abstract compositions reflect an artist who honors his forebears, while also breaking new ground.
Puerto Rican, b. 1976, San Juan, Puerto Rico, based in San Juan, Puerto Rico