John Martin

Untitled (Red Leatherman), 2012, Acrylic on wood, 10 x 19 x 1 inches

John Martin: Multi-tools
September 5 – October 5, 2013

A Mississippi native, John Martin lives in Oakland, California, where he works with the Creative Growth Art Center, an organization that serves adult artists with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities.

Multi-tools is presented in collaboration with the Creative Growth Art Center. It is one of two exhibitions of Creative Growth artists on view in Kentucky in 2013: the exhibition Creative Growth: Dan Miller & Judith Scott (curated by Matthew Higgs) will be on display at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville, KY from September 7 to November 3.

Martin assembles his sculptures from wood scraps that he covers in thick layers of bright paint. These sculptures depict men, animals, and automobiles configured into folding shapes that often resemble Swiss Army knives: a wolf crouches inside a lighter, a knife with many appendages squats like a small dinosaur, a garish pink flamingo rises out of the head of a man wearing sunglasses. Martin’s unusual juxtapositions imbue prosaic imagery gleaned from pop culture—fast food advertising, the Transformers film franchise—with whimsy and unexpected humor.

Untitled (KFC Colonel), 2013, Acrylic on wood, 24 x 8 x 2 inches

Untitled (Tool on Figure), 2013, Acrylic on wood, 34 x 25 x 2 inches

Untitled (Cream and Blue Leatherman), 2013, Acrylic on wood, 24.5 x 11.5 x 7 inches

Untitled (Man with A's Cap and Tools), 2011, Acrylic on wood, 28 x 16 x 2 inches

Installation view

Installation view