Lilian Martinez lives and works in Los Angeles, California
Martinez’ work embraces flatness and simplicity. Her painterly eye reduces a scene down to a critical selection of subjects, and then reduces those subjects down to their most basic forms, lines, and colors. Pulling imagery from pop-culture, art history, and nature, Martinez’ content is typically an amalgamation of easily recognizable symbols —Bart Simpson’s head floats alongside a figure that is reminiscent of a Matisse dancer, a Nike “swoosh” is situated alongside a series of decorative objects such as flowers, leaves or fruit. And when Martinez paints people they are almost always looking extremely relaxed, lounging comfortably, or engaged in a leisure activity. Usually the works have descriptive titles like, “When You Are Sad But You Still Want to Have Fun,” “Guardian Angel in Nikes,” or “Drake Eating Salad.” As the titles imply, the works are loosely narrative, but always feel a little chimerical, like something out of a dream. Bold and colorful, Martinez’ work is driven by intent, reconciling memory, reality and dreams into scenes that are a little bit surreal and a little bit funny. The work indulges color and mood, and is direct while maintaining a vibe that is charmingly nonchalant.