Patrick Martinez will show new work this weekend at Charlie James Gallery in Chinatown. The show centers on Martinez’ continuing remix of the classic Pee Chee folders that students in the 80’s and 90’s used to organize their school work, and doodled on during class. Martinez takes the classic designs and updates them with powerful imagery, this time drawing from the legends of rap. The works riff on Middle School artistry, while also recognizing the timeline of awareness which starts not in school, but with hip-hop.

Chuck D famously called rap music the Black CNN, and Martinez pays tribute to the heroes who brought awareness of what’s really going on in the streets to the youth of the world. This is connected with the civil-rights struggles of today through what is now a wide-ranging series of Pee Chee paintings, which have previously depicted victims of police violence.

Other works in the new show highlight the beauty of the normal in the neighborhood, using neon and stucco to honor the flashes of color and paint by unknown artists that sparkle with life and catch the eye of every young artist and dreamer on the block. The themes are rooted in memory, but rather than invoking nostalgia, these works seek to inspire a reassessment of what is important in American life, and demand that the viewer answer the challenge laid down by those who came before.

Patrick Martinez “All Season Portfolio”
Opens Saturday, January 14th, 6pm
Charlie James Gallery
969 Chung King Road,  Los Angeles

Patrick Martinez, Public Enemy, Ballpoint pen and liquid paper on found pee chee, 12 x 9 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery. Patrick Martinez, NWA, Ballpoint pen and liquid paper on found pee chee, 12 x 9 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery. Patrick Martinez, Nas, Ballpoint pen and liquid paper on found pee chee, 12 x 9 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

Patrick Martinez, Tupac, Ballpoint pen and liquid paper on found pee chee, 12 x 5 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

Patrick Martinez, free 99 (hold ya head), neon, 30 x 36 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

Patrick Martinez, flower district memorial, acrylic and stucco on panel, 30 x 23 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

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Patrick Martinez, boyle heights cake spot, acrylic and stucco on panel, 20 x 20 inches, 2016. Photo credit: Michael Underwood. Courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery.

From the Gallery

Charlie James Gallery is delighted to present
PATRICK MARTINEZ
ALL SEASON PORTFOLIO
JANUARY 14 – FEBRUARY 18, 2017
ARTIST RECEPTION – JANUARY 14, 6-9pm

Charlie James Gallery is delighted to present a solo exhibition by gallery artist Patrick Martinez titled All Season Portfolio, opening January 14th from 6-9pm at the gallery in Chinatown.  The show will feature new works of painting, drawing, and sculpture by the L.A. based artist.

Patrick Martinez is a son of Los Angeles.  His diverse cultural background (Filipino, Mexican, and Native American) provides him a unique lens through which to view and interpret his surroundings.  Influenced by the Hip Hop movement, Martinez’s work leverages the signage, language, and surfaces that underpin visual life in Los Angeles.  His work frequently reflects subtexts of power and inequality he observes in culture and in life.  All Season Portfolio will be a cross-media platform, including new pieces from Martinez’s Pee Chee series of paintings and drawings that memorialize victims of police brutality, new neon text sculptures that reference Hip Hop lyrics and LA vernacular signage, and new mixed media stucco paintings, all made in response to this contemporary American moment.  In tones ranging from elegiac to defiant, and using visual strategies that eliminate distance between work and viewer, Martinez offers a vigorous, deeply felt response to the clamor and unease of life in Los Angeles, California, USA, 2017.

Patrick Martinez (b. 1980, Pasadena, CA) earned his BFA with honors from Art Center College of Design in 2005.  Martinez’s work has been exhibited in domestic and international venues extending from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Miami, and New York to the Netherlands.  In 2016 Martinez exhibited at the Vincent Price Art Museum, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, FL, LA Louver Gallery, Guerrero Gallery in San Francisco, and Biola University.  Also in 2016, Martinez curated a large group show at Charlie James Gallery titled Southland.  Martinez’s work has been discussed in publications ranging from the LA Times, KPCC, KCET Artbound, Fusion, ArtNews, Wired Magazine, KCRW, and Vice Magazine. In 2017 Patrick will have his first solo museum show at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum in Winter Park, FL. Martinez lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.