Friday, January 30, 2009

Artifacts-Remembering Martin

Its been something like twenty five years since Martin died-hard to believe sometimes-I still see his face so clearly.
Maybe its getting older, but he's been in my thoughts a lot of late. I was seventeen, maybe eighteen on what was known as a 'Youth Training scheme' in those days, and Martin headed the design dept. I guess he recognized some modicum of talent in me then, and it quickly became one of those things of mentor and student. He introduced me to things like Dada and Pop Art, and a set of skills and dictum's that still stand me in good stead today.

He was also a remarkable artist in his own right, producing a series of silk screened images, that had a foot somewhere between Fauvism and photography. He possessed an incredibly dry surreal wit too, which would spill over into projects like painting over sized crisp packets that he had blown up on an old OHP.
I recall hours of laughter, and we became firm friends, outside the class.He was 29 when he died in that old blue mini of his from France, which he had customized with red tape. Out of all the friends that I've lost over the years, the shock of his death was the most visceral,I guess because it was so sudden and unexpected,and at the time I dealt with it by mythologizing his death, stupidly, naively casting him as my Carlos Casagemas, but his passing was fundemental to me, and
I really miss him sometimes.

Last year, I tried to deal with it, the way I deal with everything-through paint-and had the idea of producing a hommage triptych, which I'd call 'Mentors'-I never got past the first piece(I'd still like to) -but the piece here called simply 'Martin' is the result.

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