17. February – 30. March
368 Broadway #209, New York
Thanks to my dear friend, the curator Saulo Madrid, I recently was introduced to the work of an exciting young, new artist, Rodrigo Martins, who had his first solo exhibition outside of his native Brazil in FB gallery, a charming new space recently opened by Francois Baron in the heart of Tribeca.
Saulo “felt it was great to have such a turn out for an emerging artist with an incredible future ahead of him. It was great for the gallery to be able to showcase and encourage the work of new creative forces.”
Francois “was touched to see so many people discover and appreciate the work of Rodrigo Martins, a young, unknown but talented artist from Rio. I’m proud to have been able to present his first international exhibition, and I hope there will be many more!”
Rodrigo Martins works on canvas and paper, are to me an orchestration of his technique, layers, brush strokes, vivid color, dissected and unadulterated expression of a 24-year-old gifted artist. He executes with ease and effortlessness what many artist sometimes acquire over many years of training and mentorship.
Part of a new generation of artists, Rodrigo works in a shared studio in the Botafogo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. “It is an innovative art project that reflects a new sensibility devoted to fresh and raw creative forces.”
Rodrigo pulls the viewer into his dialogue, his story, his monologue with youthful displays of mixed media, oil on canvas, pastel and watercolor. There’s a certain purity, a certain honesty that comes with his youthful, sometimes aggressive brush strokes. Yet, Rodrigo presents complex works similar to those of Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, and Jenny Saville with a playful innocence only he can give. Yet, these large formats are a representation of the complexity of Martins’ generation filled with angst and despair. Martins describes his work “as visceral articulations that go beyond representation.”
I was impressed with the mysterious duality of his large-scale paintings and drawings in which he shows the beauty of our humanistic and bestial qualities. Rodrigo states, “I didn’t realize this completely while I was doing them, but afterwards I saw that this is what I was speaking to. It’s no coincidence that most religions will have a black side and a white side, a heaven and a hell. I think this is because it reflects the way we think.”
The possible range of emotion was quite evident in the animal series. The complex layers kept me coming back for more of his interpretation of the Ten Worlds, his David Lynch narrative. Rodrigo expresses the thin line that exist between human and animal form.
In Rodrigo’s The Bicycle Series the artist seems to be channeling the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, but with a more childlike approach of Cy Twombly. This series reveals the deep connection to his inner child and explains the uninhibited approach to his work.
I describe the artistry of Rodrigo Martins as “A Perfect Symphony!”
For additional information, please contact Francois Baron at 917.495.2457 or Saulo Madrid at 646.441.8147 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit us on the web at http://www.fbgallery.net
For the full interview of Rodrigo Martins by Atli Bollason