Through formally painted portraits, Patrick Martinez sheds light on past and current civil rights leaders who would historically be left in the shadows. These portraits are found atop realistically depicted three-dimensional cakes, embodying the celebratory tone that Martinez wishes to portray. Through a study of the lack of diverse representation in historical portrait painting, a medium traditionally used to celebrate ones successes and wealth, Martinez was led to the portrait cake paintings. The cake acts as a globally and socio-economically understood medium of celebration, now featuring the faces of not only white historical figures but the faces of freedom fighters of all races. This series was first inspired by a video of Tupac’s last birthday, which included a cake frosted with his portrait that did not resemble him in the slightest. The cake paintings feature the likes of Angela Davis, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X, and include even lesser known freedom fighters such as Larry Itliong of the Philippines paying respect to Martinez’s mother’s birthplace. Martinez also works with the insignias of civil rights activist groups, such as the Black Panther Party in his piece titled Chocolate Cake for the Black Panther Party. That Which We Do Not See will be on view through April 20 at Fort Gansevoort 5 Ninth Avenue, New York. photographs courtesy of the artist and Fort Gansevoort, New York.
1. Forbidden Fruit, a solo exhibition of neon and sculptural works by Patrick Martinez at New Image Art 2. Rainbow Body, a solo exhibition of rainbow splashed canvases by Millie Brown on view at 8473 Melrose Place 3. A Lil Taste of Cheeto in the Night, Parker Ito crams in canvases and sculptural renderings at Chateau Shatto 4. Grounds and Figures, Diana Al Hadid shows her mylar sculptures at OHWOW 5. Jerry Hsu presents some of his 'Nazi Gold' for A Love Like Mine Is Hard to Find at Slow Culture 6. Tomoo Gokita shows some of his strange and beautiful portraits for Besame Mucho at Honor Fraser 7. Andrew Gbur shows some of his Face Paintings at the Team Gallery bungalow in Venice Beach 8. Alien Flowers, an exhibition of exciting works by Joseph Arthur at Gallery Go 9. Glen Ligon says goodbye figuratively and literally at his exhibition ending this week at Regen Projects 10. Eric Stanton and foot fetishist Elmer Batters (long dead) get weird at the Taschen Books gallery