Martins recently opened a new solo show of pencil works, S3ND NUD3S, in collaboration with Bortolami Gallery and 56 Henry at 55 Walker Street in Manhattan. Using just graphite and charcoal on white cardboard, Martins gave his friends an assignment: send me a nude selfie. That in itself, in this day and age, holds true to the idea of the selfie is often an act of narcissism or even a glamorized self-study. In Martins hands, the vulnerable request leads to a more nuanced study of his friends. Even when we began to understand the prompt Martins created, you have to wonder to yourself how you see your close kin and relationships, how you would depict imperfections. Or, have you actually even looked at your friends before?
That Martins uses cardboard, often collaged together to create the right surfaces for his portraits, keeps a connection to the street aesthetic he is famous for, but also captures a sense of the things we take for granted that exist all around us. Whether that is indeed friendship or the idea that we can just discard objects with ease, makes for a powerful showcase.
S3ND NUD3S is on view through May 28, 2021