For his latest one-man exhibit at West Gallery, Pow Martinez borrows from English experimental/noise band, Whitehouse, choosing one of the band’s songs, “Cut Hands Has the Solution,” as the exhibit’s title to set the improvisatory, spontaneous tone of his new set of works.
Describes Martinez, “What you will see are diamonds, hexagrams, oval shapes and abstraction, but still a hint of representational imagery.” The concept, he adds, came to him naturally, “using obvious and natural shapes to connect the viewer to a more abstracted view,” while introspectively asking himself to make sense of these shapes. The heavy use of diamonds and hexagrams sustains the increasingly abstract, satirical nature of the images. One painting, a 6 x 7 ft piece done in oil on canvas, is composed like wallpaper with diamond and hexagram demon faces mocking its audience, as if psychoanalyzing the viewer. “It is painted in a loose manner,” says Martinez. “It’s a background painting with no foreground subject, like a pattern becoming more abstracted.”
He may be sticking to traditional, two-dimensional painting materials like oil and acrylic, but he is consciously using them to alter the context by which his images are viewed. So far, he likes using diamond forms and producing “background” paintings with no foreground subjects. He is also leaning toward utilizing the possibilities in abstraction with no historical or art references to give himself more leeway to create and viewers more freedom to interpret what they see.