Opening night at New Image Art was filled with interesting faces, Pap’s Blue Ribbon, and eager anticipation for a new solo show “Forbidden Fruit” by Los Angles based artist Patrick Martinez. Martinez has been painting, spraying, and hustling with a strong work ethic, which he learned from his family, in the Fine Art Scene from Paris to LA for about 10 years. In that time he has created work that utilizes many types of mediums ranging from spray painted canvas mixed with oil paint, hand painted portraits on fleece blankets that become modern day tapestries, Neon signs that read “Less Drake , More Tupac”, that actually get purchased by Drake , skyrocketing his work into the poplar art world. In various interviews Martinez states that his motivation comes from the world around him that “ [He] is an American artist and [he] wants to make work that reflects the culture and lifestyles…” that surround him in his everyday experience. Inspiration for content comes directly from living in the San Gabriel Valley and traveling to work on the east side of Los Angeles. Watching liquor store signs, nail shops flash, and fast food restaurants bright hunger educing red and yellow, the ideas for “Forbidden Fruit” are formed through careful observation and critique. The show has works in assemblage, which reflect the barbed windows of a crime-ridden neighborhood, caging ceramic handguns and ooziez that are accented by plastic flowers. While electrifying paintings with neon that depict liquor store snack food, 40’s of old English, and morphed candy-chips. The crate of ceramic fruits, flowers, candies, chips, and guns, takes center stage to the heavy theme of class separation, food politics, and the unequal distribution of healthy food options to low income neighborhoods. With the work taking a stance against these ideas by making work that shows the extremely fantastical effects of these ever-growing problems. Creating hand sculpted fruits, through traditional techniques, that look like they’re glowing from their Monsanto fields, forming connections and observations through an authentic perspective. This new body of work clearly demonstrates growth and the clear perspective Martinez has gained from his time of reflection.
Take a trip to New Image Art to see “Forbidden Fruit” through May 9th.