A Review of Eddie Martinez: Cowboy Town at Timothy Taylor

 
When We Were In Good Hands, 2016-17. Oil paint, spray paint, enamel, collaged canvas and silkscreen ink on canvas. 182.9 x 274.3 cm. © Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor. 

When We Were In Good Hands, 2016-17. Oil paint, spray paint, enamel, collaged canvas and silkscreen ink on canvas. 182.9 x 274.3 cm. © Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor. 

 
 

With white-washed walls, large colour-splashed figurative canvases, beautifully-bound catalogues and a seriously cool London address, Timothy Taylor is a contemporary art collector’s dream space. Currently exhibiting Eddie Martinez’s second solo show, Cowboy Town, Timothy Taylor has, yet again, shot the lights out.

The paintings are raw, bold and predominantly figurative. They draw you in, confuse at times, and force you to reassess the conceptual boundaries of contemporary art. Martinez’s move from abstract to figurative compositions in this new body of work marks a shift in the artist’s style that is at once refreshing and enticing.

Born in 1977 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Martinez is celebrated for his use of colour as well as his ability to translate the chaotic nature of life into paint. He is fearless in his approach. An interiors painter at the beginning of his career, his intrinsic talent and enigmatic vision, has since catapulted him to international fame. Now a major player in the jet-set contemporary art scene, Eddie Martinez is a force to be reckoned with, and never more so than with the work in his latest exhibition Cowboy Town.

 

 
 
Eddie Martinez, Cowboy Town, 2017, Silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint and enamel on canvas. 243.8 x 198.1 cm. © Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor

Eddie Martinez, Cowboy Town, 2017, Silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint and enamel on canvas. 243.8 x 198.1 cm. © Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor

 
 

Inspired by both the traditional histories of painting and the motifs, references and images that define popular culture, Cowboy Town is far more complex than first meets the eye. Satirical cartoons meet abstract shapes and juxtaposing block colours also meet sketchy lines. Cowboy Town, 2017, is all this and more. An assemblage of silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint and enamel on canvas, the image is mesmerising. Full of energy and movement, it is one thing than another and then nothing at all. Make of it what you will.

It becomes clear that the multi-layered narratives emanating from Martinez’s work are what make it so compelling. The exhibited compositions speak of music and Rastafari culture. They speak of the artist’s creative potential and they speak of the world around us. While the palette is typical of Martinez – powerful blues, reds and yellows – there is an underlying sense of foreboding in his newest collection. The paint is thinner and the subject matter more sinister. All in all, more cutting.

Now in its final few weeks, Cowboy Town, is both an intellectual and aesthetic challenge to behold. As one of Mayfair’s hottest contemporary galleries, Timothy Taylor, is dedicated to showcasing the very best in contemporary art and Eddie Martinez is just that. Step into his world and soak it all up. My only word of advice - conceptual sceptics stay clear. The exhibition continues until May 6th. 

 

 
 
Eddie Martinez, Beach Young, 2016, Silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint, enamel and graphite on canvas 182.9 x 274.3 cm© Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor

Eddie Martinez, Beach Young, 2016, Silkscreen ink, oil paint, spray paint, enamel and graphite on canvas 182.9 x 274.3 cm© Eddie Martinez. Courtesy Timothy Taylor

 

Written by Lucy Scovell, a Contributor to Arteviste.