Magical Realism-Works by AMERICA MARTIN
Imagine a delightful, unexpected encounter, a diversion from the mundane - an acceptance of the uncanny aspects of reality. This is the root for magical realism, a way of both seeing and storytelling which traverses numerous disciplines in the arts.
Many of America Martin’s works could be said to fall into this category, owing to her use of intricate and compelling narratives and abstract figurative style. One continuous reality seems to exist in a specific subgenre of her work. Here, women shed their everyday guises to bask in the sun or recline under the shade of trees, enjoy the fruits of nature, and welcome a host of various birds and animals to their company. This continuity is one of the most striking aspects of Martin’s work. More than just a visual language or a style, the works seem to live in a world of their own.
Because the origination of magical realism or marvelous realism is as a genre of narrative fiction, it is often overlooked in context to the visual arts. However, it can be used to describe any work where something supernatural, magical or uncanny happens in an otherwise realistic setting. Because magical realism is so set in the accepted fact, the material reality, it is quite different from surrealism (a close cousin), which usually takes place in the subconscious or psychological reality. Art historically, the term was first used to describe American painters in the 40s and 50s working in a hyper-realist style. In the works of America Martin however, the true, original meaning of the term can be ascribed. They are uncanny, yes, but more than that-they are a window into a world where magic and reality meet, and a fantastical story begins.