Javier Martin (Spain, 1985) is a multidisciplinary artist who bases his creative exploration on the careful observation of his surroundings, detecting semiotic relationships that might otherwise pass by unnoticed to an unperceptive viewer. With this approach, the artist constructs situations that invite reflection on impending matters in today’s world.
Raised in Spain, Martin began painting in oil colors at the tender age of seven, and had his first exhibition at the age of eight; however, he never allowed himself to be influenced by formal artistic training. Instead, he relied on his experiences, which allowed him to explore the possibilities of various materials and tools that he incorporates in his work today. Traveling, living, and working in countries – from Europe, South Korea, Hong Kong, to the United States – honed his observation skills, allowing him to learn from people and daily situations far removed from his background. During the Summer of 2012, Martin participated in his first exhibition in Asia M50 Art District. By 2014 he officially was represented by Matthew Liu Gallery in Shanghai.
In addition to his international exhibitions around the world, he shares his knowledge and personal experience regarding the realm of art culture through speaking engagements. In 2015 he conversed with a group of students during a Conference at Alboran College in Marbella, Spain, discussing the impact that art had on his life. 2017 opened with him presenting his performance piece ‘Lies and Light’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, followed by a discussion about the importance of breaking down the lights that veer us away from the path of truth. Most recently, he was a panelist in New Ways of Seeing, presented by New World Forum at Liang Yi Museum, Hong Kong.
Martin has equally experimented in painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and video art. Through his work, he proposes relationships among forms, surfaces, textures, and scenarios in which objects used on a daily basis relate to each other in unexpected ways. This talented artist consistently demonstrates his capacity to masterfully manipulate and relate materials and situations to construct sharp visual metaphors. In the Fall of 2015, Martin presented “War, Consumption, and Other Human Hobbies” a solo exhibition at Valli Art Gallery in Miami. Showing several pieces from his Blindness Collection as well a collection of works whose messages addressed themes of consumption and strategies of power within the global economy.
For over a decade, Martin has been developing one of his most iconic collections, Blindness. The eyes, classically associated with the reflection of human emotions, are always concealed whether behind a vibrant stroke of paint or a glowing neon light. With painting and collage, he reproduces images of seemingly perfect models, symbols of a standard of beauty and lifestyle that most people long to enjoy. Inspired by the juxtaposition between the grit of city surroundings and the glossy ads that line them, Martin deconstructs this perceived perfection to create a contrast between technology, collage, and painting.
In the Spring of 2016, Martin presented his first performance piece ‘Lies and Light’ at his solo show during Art Basel Hong Kong week. This performance also represents the latest evolution of the artist’s Blindness concept. In this case, the artist manifests himself as the protagonist, literally shattering society’s barriers to convey the struggle against conformity, the fight for truth and freedom. This raw and rebellious performance find Martin completely vulnerable in an intense spiritual journey to overcome his past to progress.
His works carry eloquent meaning and profound political messages, inducing viewers to reflect on their own behavior and social responsibility.