The Proposition is pleased to present Alfredo Martinez: Past & Present, another virtual exhibition highlighting the work of gallery artist Alfredo Martinez. This selection of work focuses on Martinez’ output from 2002 up until the present – including pieces he produced during his stint in federal prison (as a result of being convicted on charges of forging Basquiat drawings and their corresponding certificates of authenticity), alongside some of the more recent compositions he has completed while living in Beijing, China. This on-line exhibition has been scheduled in conjunction with Martinez’ participation and appearance in We Live in Public, the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary feature-film, which has recently been added to the MoMA permanent collection and is now playing in New York City during a limited engagement.
In December 1999, Martinez participated in the millennial project, Quiet – an epic event organized and financed by dot-com millionaire Josh Harris involving a hundred artists occupying an underground bunker on lower Broadway, voluntarily subjecting themselves to interrogations and constant surveillance for up to thirty days before FEMA intervened and put an end to the so-called “Millennial-Cult.” For this project, Martinez designed a full-size indoor firing range, complete with sound-proofing, furnished with high-powered automatic weapons and staffed by a cadre of ex-Navy Seals. Now, nearly ten years later, Quiet has been documented and condensed into the arc of the story-line of We Live in Public, Ondi Timoner’s film chronicling the trajectory of Josh Harris’ life-long obsession with media consumption in the age of the internet.
Martinez has often utilized guns and weaponry in his imagery and they remain a primary focal point of many of his drawings/collaged-paper compositions and prints. He has constructed several sculptures out of a wide variety of industrial materials to create guns that are fully functional as a result of his weapons background and experience acquired from years of working with Rick Washburn at Weapons Specialists Limited. His knowledge is even evidenced in some of his drawings, which appear as schematic diagrams of guns, offering x-ray views of their inner parts and components. In Beijing, Martinez continues this practice with his drawings and sculptures. A few of his recent gun sculptures have been well documented in photographs (presented in various states of construction), while another has been documented in an accompanying short film, Alfredo Shoots a Gun, a dramatically staged segment featuring a portrait of the artist brandishing one of his own creations.
Martinez currently resides in Beijing and has been living there since 2007. While in Beijing he has had work exhibited in the group show, Surge, at the Main Exhibition Space in the 798 Art District and he has curated a group show, Dream Palace at A-SPACE. His previous solo exhibition at The Proposition, The United States of America Vs. Alfredo Martinez, featured his work from prison and occurred while he was serving his sentence.
Alfredo Martinez – Past and Present