Christopher Martin Explores the "VOID"
Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Void, a solo exhibition by Bay Area- based artist Christopher Martin. The presentation will be Martin’s second solo exhibition at Hashimoto Contemporary, and debut solo presentation at our Minnesota Street location.
For Void, the artist continues to expand on his visual language, interweaving imagery from the African Diaspora, his own mythology and American Traditional tattooing to create bold figurative and text- based banners. Black With White Stripes (pictured above) references the Pharaoh’s Horses imagery, which is a tattoo design based on the Bible story of Moses splitting the Red Sea in order to create a path for the Israelites to travel to safety. Upon reaching the other side, Moses closed the sea, drowning the Egyptian Army on their pursuit, including their horses. Martin reinterprets the story, and depicts three zebras in motion, invoking a sense of strength, fear and power, characteristics which are reflective of the essence of the human spirit. Upon turning the banner over, the artist’s hand is visible with an inverted palette, reaffirming that the zebra is indeed black skinned with white stripes.
Pushing the cultural narrative, Martin confronts aesthetic perceptions of contemporary injustice. Utilizing cotton as the primary medium of his storytelling, Martin points to the Atlantic slave trade, reflecting his Southern roots. The artist’s hand-cut, painted and sewn large scale black-and-white banners speak of religion, captivity and freedom. Martin’s bold and stark imagery mimic his tattooing background, bringing new meaning and telling the stories of the African American experience.
With a deep respect for the written word, appreciation for his material, and thoughtful collection of imagery, Martin’s work is embedded in history, creating a new lexicon for Black culture.
About the latest body of work, Martin states, “This exhibition is of truth to the unseen. Shifting ambiguous terror, mystery & implied revelation. Stories of real life now, or whenever. Resonating dream, emotion and images. Morality tales, both magical & universal.”