Javier Martin (Spain, 1985) is a multidisciplinary artist who bases his creative exploration on the careful observation of his surroundings, detecting semiotic relationships, which might otherwise pass by unnoticed to the myopic observer. With this approach, the artist conceives circumstances to invite reflection on impending matters in today’s world. His works carry eloquent meaning and profound political messages, prompting viewers to reflect on their behavior and social responsibility.
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; yet, he never allowed formal artistic training to influence him. Instead, he relied on his experiences, which allowed him to explore the various materials he incorporates into his work. Martin supplemented his artistic development by frequenting exhibitions and museums around the world to learn about the universal history of art. Traveling, living, and working around the globe - from Europe to South Korea and Hong Kong to the United States - honed his observation skills, allowing him to learn from people and daily situations far removed from his background. Through his work Martin demonstrates a capacity to manipulate materials and conditions to construct sharp visual metaphors.
Martin spent the past decade developing one of his most iconic and compelling collections, Blindness. By appropriating the language of advertising, he deconstructs the perceived perfection of his subjects to create contrast, exploring the warped concepts of beauty, glamour, and value. In his work, the eyes classically associated with the reflection of human emotions will always be concealed. He eliminates one’s most compelling and expressive tool, behind either a vibrant stroke of paint or a glowing neon light. A representation of how society’s triviality blinds us, separating us from what is truly important. Over time he has experimented and engaged with numerous materials to convey his message. In the early stages of Blindness, he reclaimed advertisements from the streets and recycled them in the form of collage. Next, he incorporated the neon light, the same tool utilized by brands to encourage consumerism. The latest progression Blindness Alma incorporates physical reflection through the use of mirrors. Martin presented Blindness Light | The Dark Box and Blindness Alma | A Room Without Walls, during the week of Art Basel Miami 2017. Two installations which both encapsulate his Blindness Concept into interactive physical spaces.
In the summer of 2012, Martin participated in his first exhibition in Asia’s M50 Arts District. By 2014 Matthew Liu Fine Art Gallery in Shanghai represented him. In the fall of 2015, Martin presented a solo exhibition at Valli Art Gallery in Miami, War, Consumption, and Other Human Hobbies. Showing several pieces from his Blindness Collection as well a series of works whose messages addressed themes of consumption and strategies of power within the global economy. In the spring of 2016, Martin presented his first performance piece LIES & LIGHT at his solo show during the week of Art Basel Hong Kong. He opened 2017 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville with a video presentation and discussion of LIES & LIGHT. Later that spring, Martin was a panelist at ‘New Ways of Seeing’, a conference held by Art World Forum at Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong. Throughout 2017, several group exhibitions showcased his work in cities such as Seoul, Montreal, and Paris. In March 2018, exhibited in New York City, Blindness | The Appropriation of Beauty, a solo show curated by Robert C. Morgan and presented by Galleria Ca’ d’Oro and Valli Art Gallery.
Martin’s art gives form to the inarticulate feelings of self-worth while rattling the nerves. Recognized for its thought-provoking boldness, his art invites viewers to question societal expectations of value and personal perspectives.