We’re excited to introduce our latest Featured Artist, Mär Martinez, who is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting. She holds a BFA in Painting and a BA in Art History from the University of Central Florida. Her work in Issue 9 is provocative, and we just had to know more about the artist behind the pieces, so we asked Mär a few questions.
When did you start creating art?
I was actually kind of sporty as a kid, and more interested in creative writing. My best friend growing up was a great painter, and I wanted to be good at it too! I started becoming interested in art when I was in high school; I had a fabulous art history professor that went out of his way to get us excited about art. He would organize a huge bus full of high school students at two in the morning and drive down to Art Basel in Miami, where we would spend a 30-hour day running around the convention center. It was awesome, and it pushed the boundaries of my own understanding of what art could be…it didn’t have to be this dead, stagnant thing….it was a way to create life and I realized I had that power, too. I got really serious about art in my sophomore year of college and have been going ever since.
Why are you an artist?
There was no way I was going to be an accountant!
What artists do you most admire?
It’s a very long list. Right now I’m actually getting a lot of inspiration from literary artists. Pop Song by Larissa Pham and Sirens & Muses by Antonia Angress (both queer reading material, by the way) have been hanging out in my head lately. I’m a visual person, but I spend a lot of time reading. It resonates and sticks with me in a permanent way. As far as artists, Laurie Anderson is a permanent art crush.
What’s your artistic process?
A tug of war.
What inspires you to create?
That good ‘ol fear of failure.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever created?
That changes week to week. I have a strained relationship with my work—I always think my current project is a total failure and have to put it away for a while, but three months later I’ll take a good hard look at it and be surprised that it’s actually quite decent… Right now I’m loving a silly little piece called Hot Dog Samsara. It’s a performance piece/sculpture of Big Bite hotdogs endlessly rolling on a gas station warmer. The time anxiety is hitting me hard!
What effect do you hope your art will have on people?
I think art is a crucial, yet strange, totem that allows people to think abstractly and gives permission to speak about difficult topics. I create work that is filtered through the lens of my own experience, and the specifics of that belong to me, but people can view the work as an object that allows them to place their own experience on top of it. It’s like an odd receiver that aids the projection of the individual’s experience. Although the work I create will always be very personal, it speaks to larger and universal experiences based in gender, sexuality, heritage and power dynamics.
What are you working on right now?
I’m finishing a body of work called Praying with My Eyes Open that uses textiles my family brought over when fleeing Syria to explore themes of cultural custom and faith-based ritual, and how these customs are preserved or discarded from an agnostic, post-immigration, third-culture perspective.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In my studio. I don’t have a crystal ball so the little details are SUBJECT TO CHANGE, but I know, no matter what, I will be creating.
What’s it like being queer where you live?
I’m in Orlando right now, which is pretty queer friendly. After the Pulse murders, the city unified and is pretty out and proud.
What makes you “peculiar”?
I always have had a hard time sticking to the script, which is a radical act of defiance in some circumstances…
Where can fans find you online?
@meatvoid on Instagram or www.marmartinezart.com
See more of Mär’s work in Issue 9 of peculiar, available now.