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  • UPDATED: ARTIST STATEMENT

    Finally feeling like I'm organizing my thoughts more clearly. Been hitting the books again and am trying to regain my language. I've been attempting an identity based core art practice for at least 6 years at this point. I'm constantly undergoing a state of re-learning, unlearning and re-affirming my voice and casting off doubt.
    VER. 4.23.18
    Mark Anthony Martinez is an Offwhite [tenuously latino, non-white, non-Black and non-affiliated indigenous], cisgender, hetero-performing, male. Martinez is a conceptual artist, independent curator and cultural worker.
    “Through a conceptual interdisciplinary practice I make work that investigates how whiteness and the privileges tied to light-skin are often removed from "polite" conversations of racial identity and racism. So often, race is often cast as something that "non-whites" have. This tactic, regardless of intent, is deployed specifically to render whiteness as the "norm," neutral or altogether invisible in its relation to others.
    As a visibly brown (but “not dark”) person, I often contemplate the status or position of my own identity within society’s matrix of power and privilege. As such, many of my observations exist within an “offwhite” lens — a lens that exposes the color-based hierarchy manifested in North America which is informed by the history of uneven assimiliation and complicity amongst US Latinos (more specifically Mexican-Americans) since the signing of the Treaty Guadalupe Hidalgo.

    The questions I explore revolve around my own relation to oppressive systems. I’m taking a hard look at my upbringing and the many ways I was taught to associate whiteness with goodness, heroism, innocence and purity. Associations that are fundamentally and ideologically white supremacist — yet, continue to inform everything from casual assumptions to the criminal justice system.
    I believe contemporary art provides the ideal forum for an audience to engage with abstract and difficult concepts, not typically discussed at the dinner table or water cooler. As such, my work often omits ostensibly “white” bodies and instead lives as installation, text art and custom beige tinted interior paint — challenging the notion of whiteness and its political ramifications as neutral.
    I believe that in order to illustrate an anti-racist aesthetic, one must orient one's disposition toward elucidating whiteness as the power structure that it is and grapple with one's own collusions to an inherited oppressive system.”
    -Mark Anthony Martinez
  • BEIGE RAGE FEATURED AT NFPL, Milwaukee, WI

    Please join us this Friday for the opening reception of David Del Francia's work at The Outlet. 

    Additionally, PII will be cooking on The Oven, and Mark Anthony Martinez's Beige Rage will join Lise Haller Baggesen's Lipstick Suprematism at the Nicholas Frank Public Library.

    ***

    OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, June 16th from 7-9pm

    @ The Open 832 E Chambers Street, Milwaukee, WI

     

    An Exhibition by: 

    David Del-Francia

    ...quietly turning on

     

    “SCENE: A GROWING NUMBER OF AMERICA’S ELITE ARE QUIETLY TURNING ON. It is not uncommon for people on these trips, especially with new chemical drugs, as opposed to organic ones, to develop the illusion that they are themselves computers. Similarly, where once psychotic children identified themselves as bunnies and cats and other beasts from the fun animal world, now they identify with cars and television sets. This, of course, is not so much a hallucination as a discovery. The computer is a more sophisticated extension of the central nervous system than ordinary electric relays and circuits. When people live in an environment of such circuitry and feedback, carrying much greater quantities of information than any previous social scene, they develop something akin to what medical men call “referred pain.” The impulse to get “turned on” is a simple Pavlovian reflex felt by human beings in an environment of electric information. Such an environment is itself a phenomenon of self-amputation. Every new technological innovation is a literal amputation of ourselves in order that it may be amplified and manipulated for social power and action. Naturally, such amputation is associated with pain that is referred not so much to the body as to brain centers. As Lowenstein points out: “There is hardly a brain center outside the reach of pain pathways.” Most people are in the habit of associating technological innovations with the physical upset to their customary routines and customers.”

    -Marshall McLuhan, “War and Peace in the Global Village.” 1968 

    www.daviddf.com

    ***

     

    The Oven presents:

    PIOpen Kitchen 

    Corny-Piquante Three-Course After-Taste 

    8:30pm

     

    The NFPL presents:Season 2: Off-White, featuring Lise Haller Baggesen & Mark Anthony Martinez

     

    Mark Anthony Martinez describes himself as 'Offwhite,' providing the inspiration for Season Two's Off-White theme for NFPL programming. According to Martinez, his work "explores representation and power through image and symbol, to expose whiteness as interconnected within a system of domination and privilege." His practice "illustrates an anti-racist aesthetic dedicated toward elucidating whiteness as a hegemonic power structure, within the confines of the whitewall gallery" — and in the NFPL, the walls will become his specially formulated color called "Beige Rage" for the duration of Season Two. A supposedly neutral color, beige bears an uneasy resemblance to the standard 'flesh tone' in use by many paint manufacturers to represent a certain shade of skin borne by white people. Martinez's jab exposes the fundamental fallacy of universality that animates white people's self-imagined domination, and perhaps their own blindness to the full spectrum of humanity around them. Martinez resides in San Antonio, TX.http://markanthonymartinez.com/

    Lise Haller Baggesen's Lipstick Suprematism continues, with several paintings backgrounded by Beige Rage. https://lisehallerbaggesen.wordpress.com/

    Director of The Outlet Gallery

    Katy Cowan

    www.theoutletgallery.org

  • Belated Good News!

    Effective June 1st, 2015, Executive Director, Jerry Ruiz has made me a permanent hire at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center! Am looking forward to the cultivating the future scene of contemporary Xican@, Latino and Native American art here in the city of San Antonio!