St. Josephine Bakhita (2018)
watercolor and ink on paper
26 x 20 in.
Concerned with finding new ways to utilize figurative observation to engage advocacy, Martinez presses against the perceptions of time, art history, and the plights of women. The artist approaches narratives such as fairy-tales through rearrangement to alter the audiences’ typical encounters to better suit a feminist or minority inclusive agenda. Viewers must confront the unique aspects of the re-contextualized to find the intention as Martinez places breadcrumbs to guide towards new realizations.
She merges original stories with literature or film references. Figures cope with brooding, tempestuous environments. A sense of place may develop through the found agriculture, architecture, animals or insects. This influence of the natural being dramatized for the theatrical creates pookas whom accompany symbols (sometimes the trees are not merely trees but represent the artist’s family and Latino heritage).
Current projects include works inspired by Candy Land, Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the martyred counterparts to the evangelists as portrayed by real domestic violence survivors- Sister Saints. In the saints series, works in oils show survivors enacting the atrocities of their namesake saint in times past, but the works on paper contain the transcribed interview of each survivor telling her own story and her journey towards safety and truth.
© Lizzy Martinez