PATRICK MARTINEZ / LOVELY DAY
Known Gallery is very pleased to present “Lovely Day”, a solo show by contemporary artist Patrick Martinez.
Martinez, a diverse young artist, is known for his lush colorful paintings and portraits set in the Los Angeles streets, his neon works that play on hip-hop themes, his sculptures and his limited-edition objects. For “Lovely Day,” he revisits the Los Angeles landscape. “It's crazy to me that I wake up to beautiful days here in L.A., but they are juxtaposed with the ‘evil’ things that happen in this sublime city. That’s the inspiration for the show,” says Martinez.
For the piece upon which the exhibition is based, a still-life painting with a layer of neon, spelling Lovely Day on top, Martinez says: “I painted a bed of flowers typical to Los Angeles and took what I was doing with neon which is inspired by L.A. store fronts and combined the two. The result was the piece ‘Lovely Day,’ which was also the first piece I created in this body of work.” The theme is seldom addressed in contemporary art and one that intrigues Martinez. Many of his new works have similarly glossy exteriors with dark undertones.
Another paradox Martinez explores is the male psyche, as exemplified in his painting “Culture of Honor,” which depicts a thuggish man festooned with a child’s flotation device or “floatie.” Says Martinez: “I wanted to use a Los Angeles male archetype to present this idea: It's a beach setting. The proud male doesn't know how to swim, but he's sporting this ‘I don't give a shit’ attitude – but he really does care. Moreover, he doesn't want to drown.”
“Culture of Honor” is one of the show’s highlights, as are two vending machines, like those typically found in L.A. car washes, laundromats and liquor stores. They have been loaded with custom sculpted toys in plastic capsules cast in various materials. One of the items is a sticky hand "West Coast version," the other is a piece of cheese and a plastic pig finger puppet. The vending machines also vend prismatic stickers with images of Martinez’s new neon pieces.
Patrick Martinez is one of the most exciting young artists in Los Angeles at the moment. He has exhibited in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, The Netherlands, Toronto and Hawaii. Complex magazine recently named Martinez one of its “Most Important Artists of 2011” and one of its “Most Influential Artists of the Complex Decade.”
Opens: June 16, 2012 | 8-11pm
Runs: June 16 - June 30, 2012
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036