Javier Martin Appropriation of Fragments Exhibition
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday June 22, 2023. 7pm-10pm.
In appropriation of fragments, Martin uses the space to create a dialogue between the individual fragments and their collective composition that forms the whole, transforming the gallery into a theater filled with fragments, representing the information overload of our time. A society created of fragments of information driven by advertising, technology and social media, questioning the veracity of what we recognize, through the use of appropriation, cutting, alteration and reflection, accentuating their emptiness; including the viewer in the scene and transforming them into a part of the fragments that invite self-reflection.
This exhibition is composed of three different body of works, where we can find a journey that shows the interdis-ciplinarity of the artist. From the installation Alma, part of the permanent collection of the Seoul Museum, which consists of a cube covered with mirrors where the viewer is reflected through the appropriated images stamped on them and illuminated by neon, a material appropriated by Martin who considered it a form of public writing, unassociated with art, and traditionally associated with popular culture.
He invites the viewer to step into a room where he has conceptually removed the walls, replacing them with un-limited light and space. Eliminating the barriers society imposes, which fill our minds with banal and insignificant thoughts, keeping us trapped and unable to realize the potential that exists beyond.
In contraposition to the installation, the body of work “CUT” first presented by the artist in Shanghai in 2015, a thought-provoking series that challenges our preconceptions about the power of celebrity and the way we con-sume media. Creating iconic hand-cut photographs, technique inspired by The Chinese tradition of paper cutting, giving importance to the use of the negative space and the contraposition between wholeness and emptiness.
Inspired by the fragments that are remaining from the cut out works, Martin creates the installation that is dis-tributed throughout the gallery, fragments of images that represent remnants, unfinished elements that are a fundamental part of the language, these large fragments leaning on the walls, a format that presents the timeless, the non-sculptural in dialogue with the viewer, questioning the finished, the incomplete or the original in modern society, exploring how images shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world.
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 Fine Art 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 discus- sion 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 relation- ships 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 art- it’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.
In 2018, Martin continued to build on the questions raised by his performance art with installations that challenge viewers to examine their own blindness. Following his public Blindness mural for the 71st Festival de Cannes and his solo exhibition “Blindness the Appropriation of Beauty” (curated by Robert C. Morgan), Martin created a number of interactive installations in which the Blindness concept is more visceral and tangible than ever before. In ‘A Room Without Walls’, Martin riffs on his ‘Alma’ series with an immersive, completely mirrored room in which viewers see themselves infinitely repeated in the face of a figure blinded by neon light. For ‘The Dark Box’, exhibited at Valli Art Gallery in Miami and New York, Martin continues to challenge gallery visitors to directly interact with the Blindness concept. Developed in a world dominated by social media, Martin uses ‘The Dark Box’ to invite viewers to become a part of his art; at the same time, the piece creates a situation in which participants can question their own blindness to new means of consumption.
Martin’s most recent works show him revisiting the concepts behind his earliest works in the Blindness collection. In these large scale and expressive collages, Martin layers paint, prints, paper ephemera, and neon in order to present the Blindness concept with new complexity. Whereas he forces participants to examine their own blindness in his installations, these mature works show Martin mining his own oeuvre to reexamine Blindness more than a decade later. These reflective pieces have been exhibited simultaneously, at Plan B at David Zwirner and in a solo exhibition titled “BLINDNESS” at Valli Art Gallery New York in March, 2019.
Javier Martin presented his first solo museum exhibition at the Seoul Museum in Spring 2019 and his first solo exhibition in Japan at Maki Gallery on the fall of 2019.
- Appropriation of fragments – Solo exhibition (Ascaso Gallery) Miami, USA
- ART TAIPEI (333 Gallery) Taipei, Taiwan
- SKIN DEEP -Solo exhibition (Ascaso Gallery) Caracas, Venezuela
- A New Horizon – Group exhibition (Akrilyc / Gallery 46) London
- INTI-PUNKU – Group exhibition (Strouk Gallery) Paris, France
- Baanai / Javier Martin – Duo Exhibition (Maki Gallery) ISETAN The Space,Tokyo, Japan
- Cute Tunes for Serious Sapiens – Group exhibition (Ascaso Gallery) Miami, USA
- Lights Appropriation Solo exhibition (Pulpo Gallery) Murnau, Germany
- Skin in the Game – Group exhibition (Gallery HZ) Hong Kong
- ICONIC ; 아이코닉 – Group exhibition (Seoul Museum) Seoul, South Korea
- We Dance You Mean – Group exhibition (Cerquone Gallery) Madrid, Spain
- INTERAZIONI -Group exhibition (A Pick Gallery) Turin, Italy
- Blindness -Solo exhibition (Koo House Museum) Yangpyeong, South Korea
- Alma- A Room Without Walls Public Installation (TEAF20) Ulsan, South Korea
- Blindness -Solo exhibition (Tri-bowl Art Space) Incheon, South Korea
- Blindness -Solo exhibition (Audemars Piguet House) Madrid, Spain
- Gallery Collection vol.1 (Tezukayama Gallery) Osaka, Japan
- Borderless Artist Project -Solo exhibition (Andong Arts & Culture Center) Andong, South Korea
- Infinite Light – Solo exhibition (Maki Gallery) Tokyo, Japan
- Borderless Artist -Solo exhibition (Seoul Museum) Seoul, South Korea
- Blindness -Solo exhibition (Valli Art Gallery) New York, USA
- Plan B (David Zwirner Gallery) New York, USA
- Blindness The Dark Box Interactive Installation (520 West 28th by Zaha Hadid) New York
- Blindness -Solo exhibition Curated by Valli Art Gallery (Miami Design District) Miami,USA
- Intra Moenia – Cattelani Collections (Campori Castle of Soliera) Modena, Italy
- Blindness The Dark Box Interactive Installation (Valli Art Gallery), Miami, USA
- Selected Works (Valli Art Gallery) New York, USA
- Blindness x Cosybox (Cannes Film Festival) Cannes, France
- Dear my wedding dress (Seoul Museum) Seoul, South Korea
- Blindness The Appropriation of Beauty Curated by Robert C. Morgan, New York, USA
- 36th Korea Galleries Art Fair (Paik Hae Young Gallery) Seoul, South Korea
- Convergence (Galerie Art District) Paris, France
- Blindness Alma- A Room Without Walls Installation (Valli Art Gallery Miami, USA
- Art Miami (Paik Hae Young Gallery) Miami, USA
- RAW- Blindness The Dark Box Interactive Installation (YAI) Miami, USA
- Forza Group exhibition (Galerie Leroyer) Montréal, Canada
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Paik Hae Young Gallery) Seoul, South Korea
- Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (Matthew Liu Fine Arts) Shanghai, China
- Within The Light -Solo exhibition (Heart House Private Members Club) Munich
- Art Shenzhen (Matthew Liu Fine Arts) Shenzhen, China
- New Ways of Seeing, Art World Forum, Liang Yi Museum, Hong Kong – Meet the Artist (Soho House) New York, USA
- Scope Art Show (J+ Gallery) Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, USA
- LIES & LIGHT, Video Performance at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA),Jacksonville, FL
- Art Palm Beach (Valli Art Gallery), West Palm Beach, FL
- Context Art Miami (Valli Art Gallery) Miami, USA
- Artist in Residence (Soho House) New York, USA
- Blindness -Solo exhibition Curated by Valli Art Gallery (Toys for Boys) Miami, USA
- Context New York (Valli Art Gallery) New York, USA
- Private Event Blindness Neon Collection, JetSmarter, Malibú, CA
- LIES & LIGHT Solo exhibition (California Tower, Loft 22), Hong Kong
- Basel Blindness, Art Basel Miami Week (Valli Art Gallery) Wynwood, Miami, USA
- War, Consumption and Other Human Hobbies Solo exhibition (Valli Art Gallery) Miami, USA
- Summer Show (Matthew Liu Fine Arts) Shanghai, China
- Art Busan (Asian Art Works) Busan, South Korea
- Art Edition Art Fair, (Hangaram Art Museum of Seoul) Seoul, South Korea
- 3A/Galleries, Art Basel Week, Miami, USA
- Select Fair (Lavio Fine Art) Miami, USA
- Blindness NEON (Kee Members Club) Hong Kong, China
- Art021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (Matthew Liu Fine Arts) Shanghai, China
- Group exhibition (Pantocrátor Gallery) EBPC FreeTrade Zone, Shanghai, China
- Cambiando Vidas (Luz Botero Fine Art) Panamá
- Art Gwangju, (Lavio Fine Art) Gwangju, South Korea
- Art Busan, (Lavio Fine Art) Busan, South Korea
- “Eyes on me, please!” Solo exhibition (Houses of Art Gallery – HOA) Marbella, Spain
- Art Lima (Pantocrátor Gallery) Lima, Perú
- Enlaces (Luz Botero Fine Art) Ocean Reef Island, Panamá
- Select Fair, Art Basel Week, Miami Beach, USA
- Live Painting (Art Shopping Festival for Charity) Andorra
- Swab Art Fair, (Pantocrátor Gallery) Barcelona, Spain
- Art Meets Fashion, City Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, New York, USA
- M50 Contemporary Art District (Pantocrátor Gallery) Shanghai, China
- Lavio Fine Art Vip Preview, Kee Club, Shanghai, China
- CNCPT13 Gallery, Amsterdam
- Eyes wide shut, Solo exhibition (Arte City) Miami Beach, USA
- Amsterdam Showcase, (Pantocrátor Gallery) Amsterdam, Holland
- Art is the message Solo exhibition (Myra Galleries) Wynwood Miami, USA
- Berliner Liste Art Fair, (Pantocrátor Gallery) Berlin, Germany
- Frankenstein (ECCO) Contemporary Art Center, Cádiz, Spain
- Swab Art Fair (Pantocrátor Gallery) Barcelona, Spain
- Group exhibition M50, (Pantocrátor Gallery) Shanghai, China
- Group exhibition (Houses of Art Gallery, HOA) Marbella, Spain
- Lo Que Existe Sin Ser Visto (Poligono Gallery) Marbella, Spain
- Group exhibition (IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern) Valencia, Spain
- “Thinking about Color” (Kasser Rassu Gallery) Marbella, Spain
- Blindness (Baltus West Erie) Chicago, USA
- Imm Cologne (Baltus) Cologne, Germany
- Blindness on paper (Baltus Beverly Blvd) Los Angeles, USA
- Permanent Exhibition (Collection Prive) Cannes, France
- Art Fusion, Sotogrande Cádiz, Spain
- Blindness (Resort La Torre Golf, Copa Davis) Murcia, Spain
- Showroom Grupo Grancasa, Madrid, Spain
- Maison & Objet (Baltus) Paris, France
- Collective Quum Artist Digital Printing (Pedro Peña Art Gallery) Marbella, Spain
- Collective Quum Artist (Pedro Peña Art Gallery) Marbella, Spain
- Estampa Art Fair, Madrid, Spain
- Arte Lisboa Art Fair, Lisbon, Portugal
- Henry Studio Collective (Centro de los hijos the Ceuta) Spain
- Group exhibition (Revellín Museum) Ceuta, Spain
- 2011 Young Award arts and environmental sustainability, Marbella Spain
- 1994 The Painting modality of the Painting and drawing contest for children “Caja Madrid” Ceuta, Spain
- 1994 Mention of Honor for the exhibition of Henry’s studio students (Museo del Revellín) Ceuta, Spain
- 2019 Artist Talk (The CORE members club) New York, USA
- 2017 Artist Talk (Soho House) New York, USA
- 2015 Conference at Alborán College, Marbella, Spain
Originally published at https://artmiamimagazine.com/javier-martin/