June 2012

The Process

In Which an Artist Discusses Making a Particular Work

Eddie Martinez, Ghost Fish

The paintings of Eddie Martinez contain a grunting, primal urge for mark-making. With a slew of tools and techniques, he piles up canvases with chunky shapes and smears that appear simultaneously accidental and blithely confident. The layers of his work go deep, and a nice, long look at a Martinez image reveals an idiosyncratic history of art: cave paintings, still lifes, animation, art brut, children’s drawings, and graffiti are all stacked and spread into an undeniable slab of satisfaction. Eddie and I spoke at his studio, in front of an exhibition’s worth of new paintings.

—Ross Simonini

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THE BELIEVER: Do you try to avoid habits?

EDDIE MARTINEZ: It’s not even avoidance or anything, it’s just about keeping myself satisfied and feeling like I’m progressing and moving in a forward direction and not going backward and feeling sad. It’s all it’s ever about. Just about me being excited about what I’m doing, because obviously it’s exciting to be able to be in the studio and make what you want to make. But even that’s not enough, it’s never enough. I still want to make paintings that give me a boner.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Ross Simonini is interviews editor for the Believer, a founder of NewVillager, and a visual artist who blogs at roosshamanana.blogspot.com

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