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Chris Martin
at Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles
Recommendation by A. Moret

Continuing through June 12, 2010

An intimate viewing space is well suited for Chris Martin's multi-media paintings and drawings that are rendered on loosely stretched canvas. They are delicate yet sturdy enough to support items heavily collaged and manipulated onto their surface. Entering the gallery space, the viewer is greeted by "Sweet Dreams (Second Pillow Painting)," casually leaning against the wall and supported by two white levels. A construction of oil, spray paint and collage on burlap and canvas, six pillows are sprayed in electric yellow, pink, and blue paint, all glistening with an artificial sheen. The title "Sweet Dreams" for pillows that are not only rendered useless but do anything but invite sleep, is the first ironic indication of Marin's humorous intent. "Last Optical Illusion of 2009, 2006-2009" instructs the viewer to "stare at the back dot while moving back and forth." By fixing one's eyes on the static black dot in the center of two fragmented circles and moving back and forth as Martin requests, the the inner circle begins to move in a stuttering motion that mirrors the mechanism of seeing. The raw and gritty style of Martin's work is also engaging, but perhaps the most intriguing component is the artist's initials that appear on each piece along with a set of two dates indicating the duration Martin endured with each.

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