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Artist ID: 2434

My work explores structural power dynamics that breed dominance and aggression based on gender, ethnicity, and sexual identity within our society. The culturally enforced binary system of gender constrains self-expression and exacerbates violence. There is no peace or equality within the animal world; humans have societal rules that govern our interactions, but the constant grappling for power remains under the facade.
Habibti is the possessive, feminine and diminutive form of the Arabic word habibi, meaning ‘my beloved.’ It subtly implies ownership through the guise of affection. Accessing individual identity, self-expression and sexuality within the societal constraints of how a good Middle Eastern ‘woman’ should exist can be stiflingly public because everyone becomes a voyeur and commentator on personal identity.

Folie à Deux (French for “the madness of two”) depicts the animalistic drive for control and superiority. The female and male figures are engaged within an eternal, endless power struggle, where neither has gained the upper hand. The provocative connotations of the entwined pose references the way sexuality can be wielded as a tool by both men and women to assert dominance. The tangled bodies creates an ouroboros as this psycho-sexual struggle for power will continue until the end of time.

Scission implies a nonconsensual departure by being forcibly cut out. The hand-cutting of the pieces is a crucial part of my process. The violent act of stripping figures from their context mimics how power can be given and taken away. The figures become vulnerable, naked objects in the outside world.

The human figure can be exchanged with animal forms to remove societal formalities and reduce the power struggle to its animalistic source. I am currently interested in animals that are not immediately paired with aggression discuss these dynamics. I use rabbits to open a discussion about the power dynamics behind the societal commodification of woman-as-object in the human realm. The prey animals stand in for bodies denied access to power. The patriarchal exertion of power manifests in domination, and enforces a system where there is always a winner (predator) and a loser (prey). These bodies are restricted from actualizing their potential within this system.

Strategic lighting casts massive shadows, manipulating perceived ideas of authority and ability to take up space. There’s a tension in the body language of intertwined figures, whether it’s sexual, aggressive, or playful. Often violence is not an explosive act, but is slowly and deliberately built up. I contract the violent immediacy of the physical cut with gentle glazing.

Short Bio:
Mär Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting. Her work dissects dominance, aggression and power dynamics through the lens of a culturally-enforced binary system. She received a BFA in Painting and BA in Art History at the University of Central Florida in 2020. Recent Exhibitions include: Field Projects, NY, Push Comes to Sfove, FL, A Tiny Bit of Fire, London, Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity, NY, Remembering the Words to Our Song, FL, GALEX 55 National Juried Competition, IL, ARTFIELDS 2021, SC, B20: Wiregrass Biennial, AL, and Sugar, Spice, and Not Playing Nice, NY. She is currently a 2021-2022 Artist-in-Resident at Maitland Museum of Art and History, FL. She can be reached at www.marmartinezart.com or @meatvoid on Instagram.

Extended Bio:
Mär Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting. Her work dissects dominance, aggression and power dynamics through the lens of a culturally-enforced binary system. She received a BFA in Painting and a BA in Art History at the University of Central Florida.

Selected Awards include: Bridge Ahead Initiative Grant, Bronfman Artist Grant Finalist, Jewish Art Salon Student Fellow, FusionFest Best in Show Award, Order of Pegasus Finalist, Katherine K. & Jacob Holzer Art Scholarship, Frank Lloyd Wright Scholar Recipient, and the Miniature Fine Arts Society Award. Select Solo Exhibitions include: Push Comes to Shove, FL, FRACTURE, FL, Illusions of Safety, PA, and Schism, FL. Select 2022 Exhibitions include: Field Projects, NY, 36th Annual All Florida Exhibition, FL, and Film Church, NY. and Select 2021 Exhibitions include: A Tiny Bit of Fire, London, GENESIS: The Beginning of Creativity, NY, Raw Fibers, FL, GALEX 55 National Juried Competition, IL, ARTFIELDS 2021, SC, Collaborative Animals, OH and Sugar, Spice, and Not Playing Nice, NY. Select 2020 Exhibitions include: 2020 Florida Biennial, FL, B20: Wiregrass Biennial, AL, Feminine/ Masculine, Hungary, 2020 College Invitational, IN, and Artfields 2020, SC.

In 2020, Martinez was Artist-in-Residence at a printmaking-focused residency in Florida. She was Artist-in-Residence at The Spruce, PA, and conducted visual research through her sculptural paintings. Martinez is a member of the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation Advisory Board, NY. She is Gallery Admin at Parkhaus15, a DIY artist-run exhibition space in its seminal year, FL. In 2021, she designed a series of interactive outdoor sculpture for memory care patients in Central Florida, sponsored by a grant from Healthy West Orange.

In 2021, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Stay Home Residency, TN, and served as the Curator-in-Residence at the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, NY. She was Resident at the M.O.M. Museum, FL, in the fall. Martinez is currently Art and History Museums Maitland’s 2022 Artist-in-Action, FL, and will be resident artist at the LES Center at Piedmont University, GA, and JX Farms, MI, in 2022. She can be reached at www.marmartinezart.com or @meatvoid on Instagram.

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