For the past two decades, Martin has become known for his photorealism paintings, stemming out of his classical training including the grinding and mixing of paints, emphasis on skilled drawing, and many years painting en plein aire in the fields of Scotland and along la Seine in Paris. By utilizing scrubbing, scratching, and scrapping layers of textured paint until a realistic form reveals itself, Martin created a visually complex work that with closer scrutiny, the viewer is delighted to discover broken impressionistic layers of paint that imply realism. These paintings are a reflection of the dichotomy: very calming when viewed from afar, and abstract/maniacal when examined closely.
His abstract work emerged from his photorealism work, and attempted to break down nature into purely abstract forms, yet still retain his trademark technical and visual complexities. In “Pretty Pain” the implied realism from the previous work is still present, but it takes on a new language of forum and color, creating a continuous exploration of his perception of the world around him. Martin coins the term abstract photorealism to represent the marriage of abstract and realism in his newly developed painted style. The artist had stated back in 2008, “ultimately, I am searching for the abstract within realism. When light plays across a surface it calls to me—makes me stop in my tracks.” Martin was an abstract painter before he knew it; when he was still painting photorealistic work. He later mentioned, “unlike realism, abstraction has very few boundaries. Within a world of painting nothing, you are simultaneously painting everything.”
Born in Pennsylvania, Martin attended Towson State University in Maryland, and then went on to study at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore. Recent exhibitions include a survey exhibition at Penn College, a solo exhibition show at the Station Gallery, and a featured artist show at Windsor Whip Works Gallery.