Worldwise: Artist and Philosopher Shantell Martin’s Favorite Things
, 2023-01-04 15:45:00,
Ask Shantell Martin to talk about the lines she draws, and she’d likely use the phrases “mark making,” “free association,” or “meditative line work,” and describe her style as “open, playful, and bold.”
“Lines are the foundation of all drawings,” Martin says. “I’m attracted to them because they reveal all of your strengths and weaknesses.”
The multimedia artist and philosopher often draws large-scale murals in black ink on a white surface. She creates much of her work in front of a live audience, inviting viewers to participate in her creative process. Her renowned lines explore moving questions and answers such as “Who Are You?” “You Are You?” and “Are You You?”
Though she may have an idea about what to draw, Martin’s art is usually of the moment, as she strays from what she had planned and sketches something different instead. But her spontaneous approach—drawing lines, faces, characters, and messages—doesn’t leave much room for error. “All your mistakes and hesitations are visible and you don’t dictate where the viewer should look,” she says.
Using a variety of materials as her canvas, Martin has realized drawings on walls, shoes, textiles, pianos, and cars. Her public art works have adorned spaces at New York’s Lincoln Center, Governor’s Island, and the Oculus transit hub, and she’s had solo exhibitions at the 92Y Gallery, Albright Knox Gallery, and the New Britain Museum of Contemporary Arts. She’s…
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