Bits and pieces of memories and fragments of life are fused together in Gene Paul Martin’s strange, candy-colored portraits. The humbly-sized, lush oil on canvas paintings, depict fictional characters with either their faces obscured or grotesquely mutated and were inspired by fragments of life and well as materials from popular culture. They are also “dressed-down” (if they are a humanoid), adorning western inspired everyday clothing such as the infamous trucker-hat or just a plain t-shirt.
Though these works could be considered as Pop-Surrealist, recycling lowbrow images and references into traditional easel paintings, the artist has stressed that materials from his life experience have helped shaped the imageries in the work, making them “real” to him. They are collages of images and emotions stitched together in his studio.
There are limited clues provided for the audience to decipher the identity of the characters. The environments they inhabit, in which are intended to give a sense of isolation are sparse, rocky and appear generic. Thus one will have to examine the limited pieces of clothing and accessories adorning the figures to unravel their identities.
Gene Paul Martin – Collecting Fragments