For most of my artistic career, I’ve investigated various themes related to masculinity from a Queer perspective. I have worked on projects that touch upon various aspects of Queer culture, some of these influences include: Donna Summer, AIDS, the films of Wakefield Poole, the novels of John Rechy, and Fire Island. Lately, I’ve been specifically focused upon LGBTQ history, with a particular interest in the milieu of the 1970s. I look back at this period with a great sense of admiration and empathy. It was a time of intense struggle, but also an era of outrageous courage and creativity, sexual liberation and community.
The source material for these hand-colored digital montages represents a cross section of ads and illustrations from various Queer publications, specifically from the time-period between Stonewall through the summer of 1981. The original source material was documented from newspapers and magazines such as: The Washington Blade, The Advocate, Philadelphia Gay News, New York Native, etc. I spent much time researching at the William Way LGBT Community Center’s John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives. Though the process of mining this valuable resource, and influenced by David Halperin’s “How to be Gay,” my goal was to create a joyous visual Queer history lesson for the younger generation.
Martinez’s practice is primarily based in Philadelphia, PA, as well as Miami. Martinez’s work is represented by Samson Projects. He was a Pew Fellowship in the Arts recipient in 2001 and was a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship recipient in 2003. He has received two Individual Artists Grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has also participated in several national artist residencies and artist-in-residence programs including: The Rosenbach Museum and Library, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, both in Philadelphia; Atlantic Center for the Arts and The Fountainhead Residency, Florida; Arcadia Summer Arts Program, Maine; MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire; Yaddo, New York; and the Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans.
He has created performance-oriented events and installations for various venues including: in Philadelphia at the Institute of Contemporary Art, The Fabric Workshop & Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and Nexus Foundation for Today’s Art; in New York at White Columns, Franklin Furnace, Exit Art, Thread Waxing Space and the Scope Art Fair at Lincoln Center; and in Miami at Miami Art Central and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery. Martinez attended the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2003, and received his MFA from Tyler School of Art in 1991 and BFA from the University of Florida in 1998, both in Photography.