Mark Martinez is an Offwhite [tenuously latino, non-white, non-Black and non-affiliated indigenous], cisgendered, hetero-performing, male, interdisciplinary artist whose work interrogates the contemporary function of racial identity in US society. Specifically, Martinez works to muddy definitions of racial whiteness by highlighting hegemony through language and absurd gesture.
Drawing from the social sciences, Martinez frames his recent practice by addressing the racialization of symbolic colors, such as brown and beige hues. Informing Martinez’ work, is the need to expose beige hues as decidedly particular as opposed to universal. It is in the particularity of privilege(s) that accompany certain social locators, visible characteristics and/or ways of being, that Martinez explores the variables of his own particular and mostly privileged social location.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Martínez currently works and resides in Chicago. In 2011 he received a BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and in 2014 his MFA from Portland State University.