Shop Talk in the Underground Gallery: CJ Martin

Shop Talk is a show to celebrate the newly renovated underground and the artists that are adjacent to it. While not exclusively a trait of the artists that share the underground, I feel that those of us who have our studios close to each other have informal, informative conversations.

I asked everyone to write a little about themselves, and to share a favorite interview, book, or podcast that they feel is useful while they work in the studio. While I think it is important for artists to get in the zone and to deeply engage in our work, I think it’s also important to identify the voices that give us some sense of our location in contemporary practice. I find myself looking for substantive conversations. I’m also amazed by how I try to get someone’s idea out of my head! Regardless, I’m grateful for the casual interactions I have with my neighbors, as it keeps me sharp and gives me a place to find my own voice.

-Nathan Foxton, Curator

This is the first in a series of seven.

CJ Martin

I am trying to create an approach to painting that mirrors the way that life is lived.  We experience life one day at a time and our lives exist as a succession of days. Likewise, my painting process involves a focus on each act in isolation, each painting exists as a sum of this succession of acts. I perform a repetition of simple actions or mark making, each one intended to advance the picture not necessarily through improvement, but rather, simply through continuing the act of painting.  In this way each painting is a representation of this idea as well as a manifestation of the psychoanalytic idea of the Drive, a record of being present in the act of painting. This is how I question the necessity of meaning and purpose, simply being present is fulfillment enough. It is my hope that the sum of the succession of acts in my paintings adds up to something that is engaging and appealing, perhaps even beautiful, the same way that I hope that the sum of my days will add up to something that was worthwhile and valuable.

I recently discovered the Modern Art Notes podcast and have been voraciously working through all the back episodes.

-CJ Martin