The painter Benjamin Martins graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2008, and earned his MFA the New York Academy of Art, graduating as the commencement speaker in 2011. The artist’s watercolor paintings fall away from the viewer like a half remembered dream; images of ghostly and phantom children, coming together to explode in kaleidoscopic colors. Working from found black and white photos of people long dead, the images are transformed into Technicolor nightmares, the old made new. Children dressed up as monsters, and monsters dressed up as children; these monochromatic visions glow with infernal light, watching the viewer, watch them.
“The female body also appears, somewhat fragmented and fiery, in Benjamin Martins’ Pretty Fierce – pretty but fierce, suggesting the difficulty of relating to her, if also her self destructiveness”
Essay, Some Dialectical Images
- Boston, Ma. 1984