Eddie Martinez, born in 1977 in Groton, Connecticut, makes paintings in a cacophonous, expressionist style that entails a broad visual vocabulary stemming from still lifes, abstraction, landscapes, psychology, and heiroglyphics. Martinez’s bold graphic style foregrounds the tension between meaning and virtuosic mark-making in painting, a rift that is exemplified by his semi-abstract “portrait” paintings of unreal or exaggeratedly cartoonish faces. Martinez’s compositions are expertly balanced between the frivolity of throwaway cultural signifiers and the psychological meaning behind symbolic form. In this way, his works simultaneously break from painting’s 20th-century tradition and highlight the medium’s history, both celebrating its possibilities and highlighting its limitations.
Martinez has been a resident at Bauernmarkt, Lenikus Collection, Viena, and was awarded First Place, Best Group Show in a Commercial Gallery for the Boston area by the International Association of Art Critics in 2007. He has been included in exhibitions at Berlin’s Peres Projects, Moscow’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Mexico City’s Museo de la Cuidad de Mexico, Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and Athens’s Deste Foundation Centre for Contemporary Art. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.