Chris Martin and joy, artist interview

Jennifer Samet interview Chris Martin for Hyperallergic. They talk about the impact of his environment, his education as a painter, particularly during the time when painting was so narrowly defined, and the evolution of his artistic practice.

Painting is a physical activity. We don’t distrust the kind of pleasure we get from cooking or dancing or yoga. In fact, we trust there is great intelligence in the body. But we don’t always trust what the body did on a painting, without being able to explain or justify it, without being able to construct an armature of French linguistic theory around it. It is hard for people to say, 'I don’t know why I put that blue in the corner,' or, 'The orange tipped over, and I ended up with this.' But that kind of a physical joy is contagious and it communicates. That is why we love painting. In that way, painting can be very naked. If you make a painting and you are bored or constricted, then it’s going to be a boring and constricted-looking painting. Other people aren’t going to enjoy looking at it either. Consequently, when you look at a seven-year-old’s painting of a sun, you get it; that energy is communicated.

Martin_Staring Into The Sun_9898
Chris Martin, “Staring Into the Sun” (2011), oil on canvas, 429 x 118 in

Chris Martin, “Hero Lost” (2011), oil on collage on canvas, 54 x 45 in
Chris Martin, Sweet Dreams (2nd Pillow Painting), 2008–2009,
oil, spray paint, collage on burlap and canvas, 52 x 43 x 10”.


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