After “Matador,” a 2013 exhibition at the Journal Gallery in Brooklyn, Eddie Martinez sort of hated paint. “I had a negative reaction, I got really turned off by it,” said the artist, who found himself avoiding the studio after completing the works in the aforementioned show: Large, quasi-abstract canvases that serially explored the contours of a Picasso-esque bull. To deal with his creative block, Martinez started walking the beach on the North Fork of Long Island during the summer, pondering if three-dimensional work might be the way forward. “I wanted to do sculpture,” he explained, “but I didn’t know how to do it.” The answer turned out to be fairly simple: Gather whatever weird or evocative materials are discovered underfoot, and combine them in ramshackle, brightly colored configurations.
It's not hard to like Eddie," says artist Barry McGee, of fellow artist Eddie Martinez. "Everything was already great." McGee first met Martinez when the latter was an art handler working to install McGee's show at a Boston gallery. Martinez was a bit starstruck: "It completely blew our minds because it was obvious that Barry was in town... then he had that show and just really kind of rocked our worlds for a while," remembers Martinez of himself and his art-school friends. "We went to it all the time. I took my mom to it."
Nowadays, most of us chronicle the moments between point A and point B through convenient, mostly digital means of communication: a tweet from a cab, an Instagram of a stripped-down apartment filled with boxes. But for Brooklyn artist Eddie Martinez’ Nomader exhibit—which premieres at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles in September—little output saw such convenience. His full-body, multi-layer production of big paintings goes on uninterrupted, despite constant changes in location of the unfinished objets d’art.