“How Can We Make This Work?”
acrylic on panel
My work explores the complex effects of the built environment and collective narratives on life in Los Angeles. My paintings refer to history, geography, biology and my own experiences in order to encapsulate and reclaim a complex urban experience. These ideas are explored through a combination of representational images of scenes and people from life and abstracted scenes that point to a complex lived experience.
For ¡Presente!, I explored the theme of misfortune experienced by good people and finding your destiny, both which are explored by Rudolfo Anaya in Bless Me, Ultima. “How can we make this work?” is a portrait of my mother. The portrait is based on a photograph taken by my sister after a conversation in which my mom communicated her past struggles with depression, relationships and other strife. I was struck by the photograph and wanted to tie my mother’s growth in life with ¡Presente! and the uncertainties we face in the year 2020. Through political, ecological, and economic strife, we as communities have had to reevaluate what we hold important and ask ourselves “how can we make this big mess work?”. In the end, the painting looks towards the signs of an optimistic horizon but understands there is work to be done before it can arrive.
About David Martinez:
David Martinez is an artist, print maker and educator centralized in Los Angeles. He is a first generation American born and raised in South East Los Angeles from Durango, Mexico descendents. David holds a BA in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.