Reception Thursday, October 10, 7-10 pm
David Castillo Gallery is proud to present All Inclusive!, a solo show by Melvin Martinez.
Martinez paints with oil, acrylic, silk flowers, plastic gemstones, glitter, yarn, and the detritus of a post-apocalyptic Hobby Lobby. The artist applies swatches of glossy magazines with the torque of a pallet knife. He layers paint like fondant until it catches pompons. Martinez interrogates the rhetoric of painting. In turn, the artist interrogates that of sculpture, collage, performance, and decoration.
In the tradition of Jackson Pollock’s action paintings or Rosemarie Trockel’s machine knitted canvases, the works in All Inclusive! vibrate on the meniscus of knowability, threatening to dissolve into process and materiality. El Jardincito is the site of a spirited cross-section of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Sugar Painting evokes the confectionary pallet of an ice cream parlor or the eerie allure of an algae bloom. The large-scale Macrame Serie Entramados seduces the viewer with its rich texture or imminent spider.
Martinez balances density and diversity by inviting familiar painterly discourses, including expression, into an actor-network. Inclusivity ultimately aids in defending painting against itself. For Franco “Bifo” Berardi, the inclusivity of image does not lie in its representation of social reality, but its ability to select from among infinite dynamic projections. The image is an act of imagination that creates phenomenological experience. The image is a dispositif.
Likewise, Martinez’s paintings are active and unfixed. They are dispositifs that map without subscribing to landscape; amass bodies without figuration; immortalize without portraiture; communicate without expressionism; set tone without color fields, be literal without minimalism, and contemporary without Pop. Fucking Painting reads as both a snarky admonishment of its medium and an earnest act of love, simultaneously semantic and corporeal. All Inclusive! is just that: inclusive, convivial, rendering painting both resource and schema, both technology and techne.
Melvin Martinez was born and lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received his BFA from the School of Fine Arts, San Juan in 2005. The same year, Martinez won the prestigious Castellon Painting Prize (Spain). His work has been exhibited in important institutions internationally, has been reviewed in significant publications such as The New York Times, Modern Painters, among many others. His work is also included in the 2013 Phaidon publication “Art Cities of the Future: 21st-Century Avant-Gardes.” Among his institutional collections are Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Museo de Bellas Artes, Castellon, Spain; Espai D’Art Contemporani, Castellon, Spain; Museum Collection Lambert, Avignon, France; MAP, Museum of Ponce, Puerto Rico; MAC, Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico; VAC, Valencia Arte Contemporáneo, Valencia, Spain; Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California; The Rubell Family Collection, among others.