Money was in the air as Patrick Martinez presented his latest exhibition Hustlemaniaat Known Gallery. With Hustlemania, Martinez continues to explore his urban surroundings and the daily struggles we face to "get paid" in a fallen economy. Using a variety of mediums to relay his message, the show featured acrylic paintings, foam fingers, a bronze & resin statue, and his signature neon signs. I must admit, I'm like a moth drawn to the flame when it comes to neon, however it's the humor infused with the harsh reality of these works that makes them truly captivating. Whether interpreting a modern day still life composed of beer and convenience store snacks (titled Fresh Produce), or depicting a thug carrying water pistols in lieu of hand guns, Martinez's work offers a unapologetic and poignant social commentary. Without question, the highlight of the evening was the Garden Thug Statue created from bronze, magenta resin, and swarovski crystals. Fascinated crowds surrounded the fountain statue all evening as people whispered to one another while taking photo after photo. Upon viewing this life size, three dimensional glorification of violence along with neon signs telling us 'THE WORLD IS YOURS MANG', I couldn't help but be reminded of Brian Di Palma's Scarface and how the philosophy of acquiring money and power by any means necessary has infiltrated and shaped subsequent generations. When I was creating in the studio, this concept kept coming up: the idea of the paper chase, chasing the dream and all that. When I started looking at the body of work as a whole, I saw that theme binding everything together as a cohesive collection. ~ Patrick Martinez So get real paid and check out Known Gallery when you have the chance. After all, the world is yours!