Michelle Martin (born 1971, Houston, TX; lives Owasso, OK) received a BFA from Texas Tech University, Lubbock and an MFA from The Ohio State University, Columbus. Martin has exhibited nationally at venues including the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN, and International Print Center New York, as well as internationally in Australia, Bulgaria, England, Iceland, Italy, New Zealand, Turkey and Venezuela. Martin has won prizes from the Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Peoria, IL; Delta National Small Prints Exhibition, Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro; and Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial; as well as received an Oklahoma Artist of Excellence Award and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition fellowship. Her work is in collections including the Akron Art Museum, University of Akron, OH; Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN; the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Honolulu; Bradbury Art Museum, Jonesboro, AR; Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA; Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Kohler Art Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Brodsky Center for Print and Paper at PAFA, Philadelphia, PA; and the Muscarelle Museum of Art at William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. Martin teaches printmaking at the University of Tulsa, OK.
Statement from the Artist:
I am interested in the depiction of social interactions and societal commentary through experimental, non-linear narratives created by using pre-existing source imagery in a collage/drawing/printmaking hybrid process. While I admire the traditional applications, my work focuses on pushing the traditional boundaries of collage, combining it with digital drawing and hand printing techniques to create images that appear to be “unbroken.” I draw from sources from Old Masters and Victorian era popular imagery to clip art. This process is a form of “image sustainability,” a recycling of past imagery into new forms. Both monumental and intimate in scale, the historic images I re-purpose encourage a nostalgia for fairy tales and whimsical stories, and also generate disquieting and open-ended narratives that serve as a form of “stealth” political and social commentary. Exploring themes of monstrosity and hybridity, my work investigates the modern experiences of identity, fear and desire filtered through a historical lens.