New Wave by Amanda Martinez
FEBRUARY 23 – APRIL 8, 2018
OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD 6-9PM
VICTORI + MO is pleased to present New Wave, Amanda Martinez's debut solo exhibition with the gallery featuring new hand-carved and resin cast sculptural works, on view February 23 through April 8, 2018.
The point of departure for Martinez's latest sculptures began with her long-term fascination with the electronically-based, post-punk new wave music of the 1980's. Martinez is fixated on the videos that accompanied the music of that era, particularly the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", and the contrasting effects of the complex and serious abstraction of the music with the rather primitive, and at times nearly comical videos. In many ways, new wave depicted the juxtaposition of high and low culture, the decorative versus the functional, and the line between taste and class. Referencing her early days as a fledgling DJ, the works on view provide Martinez an opportunity to explore the concept of the remix, and the idea of technology altering the 'original', of varied influences associatively coming together to create a new original identity. In a world of previously emitted signals, what is the original and what is the remix?
To that end, these works examine the notion of genteel veneer, an affected aesthetic in which objects are made to appear more pleasing or attractive than they actually are. Martinez reflects this idea with a mixture of carved and cast objects, real plants which appear to be fake, and vice versa. The stand-alone sculptures and wall reliefs are joined by multiple installation elements, including faux-finished walls which look like Carrara marble, functional seating made of hand-cut wood and black wooden wall sconces holding mint green candles, the mix of which creates an immersive feedback loop.
Martinez primarily uses styrofoam, an everyday material yet unconventional art-making medium, for her sculptures. She hand-carves each of the styrofoam pieces (and then sands, primes and paints them) in a similar fashion to the way one would carve wood. Martinez's carvings begin with a central point of focus, and then fan outward, filling the viewer's periphery. Through pattern and repetition, these varied visual effects proffer optical illusions, suggesting a sort of visual trailing or kaleidoscopic path, at once reminiscent of both basic geometric problems and hypnotic on-screen effects.
Martinez's love of radical sound and visual expression vastly differs from her more traditional background and education. These opposites embody the inherent dualities in Martinez's life and work: freedom and structure, self and other, real versus synthetic. With New Wave, Martinez draws inspiration from the idea of visually representing musical plurality, filtering the cumulative effects of a lifetime of music through her personal identity as an artist.
About Amanda Martinez
Amanda Martinez (b 1988, Greenville, SC) Lives and works in Queens, NY. She received her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute. In 2015 Martinez had a solo exhibition Soft Power with Platform Gallery in Baltimore, MD. She has participated in recent group shows across the US including No Vacancy 3 curated by ALT+ESC in Brooklyn, NY; Surface Tension at E.TAY Gallery in New York, NY; N.A.D.A. New York Fair 2017 with yours mine & ours Gallery; Girl's Favorite at Fluorescent Gallery in Knoxville, TN, Transforming Milk into Milk curated by Derrick Velasquez at Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver, CO; Murmur curated by John Zane Zappas at Left Field Gallery in San Luis Obispo, CA and Forms and Fictions at Satellite Art Fair in Miami, FL with Platform Gallery of Baltimore, MD. In addition, Martinez has been an artist-in-residence at The Wassaic Project Residency, Wassaic, NY; Starry Night Residency, Truth or Consequences, NM; and Urban Culture Project, Kansas City, MO. Martinez's work has received recent press in The New York Times, ArtFCity, Westword, Bmore Art and City Paper of Baltimore.