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Preview: Patrick Martinez’ “Forbidden Fruit” ~ opens April 11th

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Somewhere in a warehouse East of downtown, Patrick Martinez conjures the soul of Los Angeles and extrudes neon, junk food packaging, weaponry, and other everyday items. His ceramic works include garish objects of (average) desire that have been flipped into something both alluring and repulsive. Supermarket-style fruit becomes almost pornographic, junk food is reimagined into something even more absurd than it already is, and weapons are both glorified and made common.

Martinez has long been fascinated with consumer products, and even staged one of the best installations of recent memory inside a Tapatio market a couple of years ago, where his neon signs created absurdities among what could be considered even more absurd-- standard supermarket tableaus of advertising mixed with foodstuffs.

This show seems to take the concept a bit further, as if to say that life is absurd, the things that fascinate us are ridiculous, but they're also a part of who we are. Martinez shows us that the line between what is considered normal and what is considered outré is just a matter of packaging. A perfect example would be his Honeybear-Old English mashup, which makes you remember that the kid getting breakfast in the morning and the dude on the corner with a 40 in a bag in the evening are the same person. The window to the Los Angeles soul may have bars on it, but it's lit by neon and what's inside has no boundaries.

Keep reading for a show preview and for the official press release...

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New Image Art is pleased to present the much-anticipated solo exhibition of Los Angeles native artist Patrick Martinez. This will be Patrick's first solo exhibition with New Image Art and will feature a wide range of work including his bold hallmark neon paintings, new sculptural works, and the use of installation.

With the creation of FORBIDDEN FRUIT Martinez further investigates the use of ceramics, all of which are hand built using traditional techniques of glaze and firing. These objects are then pushed further aesthetically by the use of neon lighting and paired alongside painted contemporary scenes depicting images of colorful neighborhood personalities, local liquor store offerings, and cherished loved ones. From the corner store bodega with its “checks cashed” neon sign to the bustling Grand Central Market fruit stands, Martinez portrayal of LA culture is distinct and authentic.

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