If you were to be called a "green thumb," chances are you have spent some time in a garden. Watching things grow, nurturing, tending to, patient, and caring. It doesn't seem like a far-off comparison to a painter, really, as one tends to be patient watching their work grow and treats the process with a sense of cerebral sense of what makes something thrive.
Eddie Martinez, with all his talent and gifts as a painter, is definitely one of a certain pace and caring process. His works are often rich and colorful, but when seen in a series, there are subtle figurative elements that emerge and become clearer. In Green Thumb, his newest solo show on view at Blum and Poe in Los Angeles through June 26, 2021, you get the sense that Martinez is tending to his craft in new ways. There are new shapes, new plants, new colors. "My process is straightforward," Martinez said of this show. "These are just still life paintings. Except, they are not from life. They are these fantastical flowers. When I am painting these things, it is pretty basic. It is just an object."
Maybe there's a modesty in this assessment, but these are fantastical flowers and the world Martinez is creating is one of memory. They fit into his process as a painter who balances abstraction and figuration. They are flowers but they let the artist explore a historically known painting subject in a way that is entirely his. "I don't feel the need to inject any kind of justification or deeper meaning into these paintings," he says. "It is such a basic and generic subject matter that allows me to have a lot of fun with it. I do get a lot of joy out of it actually."
All images courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe.